Leadership Tip

How to react to criticism

As you lean-into the challenges and new opportunities that come with them, remember that criticism is a natural process of the leadership journey. Since criticism is never easy to handle, keep the following five tips in mind to ensure you handle it wisely.

  1. Don’t freeze. The disapproval of others may trigger a fight-flight-or-freeze response - feeling attacked, our bodies react automatically. It helps if you prepare responses in advance and give yourself time. Say that you’ll give the criticism your consideration and get back to them later.
     
  2. Ask around. If it’s the first time you’ve heard the criticism, find out if the view is more widely shared. Is it valid, or the opinion of just one person? Don’t react - reach out to friends.
     
  3. Apply the criticism to your role, not yourself. We tend to take things personally that are not personal at all.
     
  4. Connect. When we’re reeling from criticism, we tend to withdraw from others. Reach out instead. Cultivate a group of friends.
     
  5. Develop a stomach for it. Many strive to be likeable, but it is an illusion to believe that you’ll ever be universally beloved. Realise that then you can face the realities and benefits of diverse opinions and value the parts of yourself disliked by others.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from How to Take Criticism Well by Sabina Nawaz. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.

Subscribe

Free weekly email on things you didn't know last week with links to articles on leadership excellence. To view previous editions click here.


Learn how to lead effectively

Gleaned from wisdom acquired by working with hundreds of highly successful leaders from the world of business, media and sport, our workshops are fortified with practical tips to help you better lead yourself, your team and your business.

Read More

Leadership Articles

10 actions for mastering leadership

The key to truly effective leadership lies in mastering a wide range of skills from implementing and administering process to inspiring others to achieve excellence. To be an effective leader you need to make the most of opportunities to learn to lead,... read more

Leadership Tips

How to react when a conversation heats up

Conversation is challenging enough at times. When it gets heated, conversation can seem impossible. When a conversation turns negative, it’s helpful to have a repertoire of replies at your fingertips. Consider these options: Reframe. Cast the... read more

How to manage a micromanager

Micromanagement is about lack of trust. The person who is micromanaging doesn’t believe anyone can do something as well as he or she can. Once you understand this, you’ll be better able to manage a micromanaging boss. First, make sure you... read more

How to hire talent

Economists tend to assume organisations will figure out how to get the right people they need to fill vacancies. What if that is wrong? Only about a third of organisations monitor whether their hiring practices lead to good employees, and they spend a... read more