How to Take Constructive Criticism Without Taking It Personally

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“I receive all feedback with kindness.”

Each morning, I write a new positive affirmation on my whiteboard at home, the one next to my desk, so that I can see it every time I sit down. Sometimes it’s something about my self-worth and others it may be about forgiving myself and others. Today, it is “I receive all feedback with kindness.”

Many of us don’t like constructive criticism. It feels like a personal attack. I struggle with it myself. But receiving feedback is one of the best ways that we can improve ourselves.

Perhaps you’ve received some feedback from your boss or your partner – or maybe even a subordinate. It may sting to know that you’re not doing things the way that others feel they should be done. But it’s not an attack on you, or an attack at all. It is simply a way to know how to better enhance yourself and your strategies.

Here are some steps from that you can take the next time you’re given constructive criticism:

  1. Stop your first reaction.
  2. Remember the benefits of getting feedback.
  3. Listen for understanding.
  4. Say thank you.
  5. Ask questions to deconstruct the feedback.
  6. Request time to follow up.

Asking questions is probably one of the most important aspects of this. It’s a great way to pull down your defenses and see that there’s more to it. You are able to break down what the person is really saying and get to the nitty gritty of what the issue is. This is the best way that you can fix the problem.

Next time you get some feedback, take a moment to really take it in. It may not be as bad as you think it is and can be a wonderful way to better yourself.

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AJ Jewell

Amber "AJ" Jewell started at in 2016 as a part-time admin assistant, quickly moving to be the 'Duchess of Flow" - making sure that the office is flowing smoothing. AJ is also an award-nominated author, homeschooling parent of three, an avid reader, and a college student.
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