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Handling Criticism

Taking it

First listen – it's very powerful

•Ask for more information, clarification, examples - in order to find out the exact nature of the criticism.

•Ask for time to consider, think about it.

•If you feel defensive ask yourself why – what’s really going on here?

•Even if you don’t think there's any truth in it (and here’s usually a grain of truth) accept it as their perception of reality. Be honest, not defensive. Maybe agree – it can be incredibly liberating!!

•Accept it (you may not like it), discuss, negotiate changes.

•If you disagree, say so clearly and confidently and ask WHY.

Giving it

Always in private

•Acknowledge good (if legitimate) as well as bad.

•Avoid becoming too personal

•Avoid exaggeration

•Criticise the behaviour, not the person

•Describe your feelings and how their behaviour affects you

•Listen to the reply

•Be specific about any changes you want

•Explain consequences of not changing + positive benefits of changing

•Possibly offer time to consider

•People resist what they feel they can’t afford to be true!