Saturday, March 17, 2012

Accepting Criticism - Why you should not be offended

It's always hard to accept criticism, especially if you are the kind of person who always thinks you are right.  This week, I had my yearly review where my supervisor tells me what things I am good at and what I need to improve on.  I think I do a pretty good job overall, and I feel I know what I need to improve on, so when someone starts saying things that I disagree with, instinctively I try to defend myself. 

This happened this time as it usually does.  My supervisor would say things that I need to improve on or change and then I would immediately try to tell her why she was wrong, or try to justify my actions.  While I may have had some good points, in this situation, I realize that the person evaluating, really doesn't want to hear a rebuttal or get into a debate.  They are simply stating what they have seen and experienced and they are trying to give you the feed back on how you can improve.

I realized, that even if their review is wrong and you can clearly defend and support all of your actions proving that you are right, it doesn't really matter.  It's best to just accept the criticism and try to use it to become better.  Even if you think they are wrong, they still have their opinion and that is how they see you.

It's actually a good thing to get criticism, even if it hurts.  When I look back, I wish I would have gotten more feedback on how I could improve.  There were only a few things that were mentioned and I tried to shoot them down.  It's a tense situation when you are being evaluated and everyone is a bit on edge and can't take all the time to think clearly.

For future evaluations I will try not to get upset or take things personally.  I might still try to defend my actions, but I will try to keep that to a minimum and instead thank them for pointing out what I need to improve on.  So overall the message for today is to welcome and accept criticism and use it to improve, even if you don't necessarily agree with it.

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