We’ve all had moments in our lives when we’ve had a difficult conversation. We receive feedback that is not positive. Even the most confident person will tense up and want to defend him or herself. Then, when it’s over, we tend to find someone we know who will reassure us and contradict everything we just heard.
Dealing with criticism is one of the toughest things we need to do, but it can be the most instructive. If you use criticism the right way, it can really help. As a head coach, one of the things I loved to do was give constructive criticism to our players because I knew it would make them better. Here’s how to handle criticism in a way that is beneficial.
Determine if it’s valid.
My bosses, general managers, and owners would often have constructive criticism for me. However, I understood that when it was on point, it would enable me to grow. As an NFL coach or being on TV as an analyst, everyone has something to say about my performance. When it happens, I never dismiss it. I always ask myself: Does this make sense? Is it valid?
Use it as a positive tool.
If the answer to those questions is yes, then I think about how I can change and improve. If the criticism is not valid then I need to learn how to ignore it. When we take the time to openly and objectively evaluate criticism, it can be a positive tool.