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Receiving Criticism

 

Techniques Assertiveness > Receiving Criticism

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When others criticize you, first pause before reacting and think honestly about what they say.

Do not defend unless you really believe that you are being attacked. Even then, it can be more effective to deflect or ignore the jibe.

If you know that you have done something wrong, then own up. Do not make excuses, although you may give valid reason for what happened.

Ask for more detail as appropriate until you fully understand what happened. Ask for their help in avoiding such future problems.

Thank them for the feedback and apologize as appropriate. Do not over-apologize! A simple 'sorry' or 'very sorry' is often enough.

If necessary, find other ways to make restitution and regain trust, but do so with dignity and integrity, not by debasing yourself. Watch for them demanding excessive restitution and be assertive about this.

Example

Yes, you're right. I was not paying full attention.

Sorry, I don't understand. Could you elaborate further?

Thank you for your feedback. However, I disagree with your analysis and want to show you what you have missed.

Discussion

When you receive criticism, it may not be expertly done. Nevertheless, you can seek first to learn. If you treat the other person as if they are trying to help, then they will increase behavior in this direction.

When others attack they may well be expecting a response and be ready (and seeking) for battle. Not responding in the way that they expected can give you both a tactical advantage and the moral high ground.

See also

Giving Criticism, Trust, Floppy language

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