I suppose it depends on the type of criticism being directed at me and the manner in which it is delivered. If an employer is giving me critical feedback about a job performance or a project and he/she is doing it in an instructive way, then I am very receptive and attentive. It's fairly easy for me to tell when someone is offering me criticism in order to help improve my life or performance.
For instance, I was recently talking with someone who freely admitted he didn't like me, and gave me his opinion on what he saw were my problems. This conversation was actually rather amiable, considering the content. I was able to sit and listen to this person, evaluate his observations about me, and react calmly and reasonably throughout. I was able to see that about 75% of what he had to say about me was: a. Gossip; b. Old information from years ago; c. His own erroneous ideas about who I am and what motivates me. There were two factors involved here that enabled me to hear all this calmly and with a sense of detachment. One, I don't care what this person thinks of me personally, only professionally. Two, I understood that he doesn't really know me at all and the things he had to say of a personal nature had little or nothing to do with me. A couple of things he mentioned were areas I had failed in, and I readily admitted those problems existed then but that I had corrected them since.
The end result? I was re-hired by this person who is the owner of a company I worked for a few years ago. You just never know how learning to listen to criticism can pay off.
Answered: Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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