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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Welcome Criticism

Robert Stevenson Blog - Two Faces of Criticism, Helpful and Hurtful

Welcome criticism? Those are two words that are hard to swallow. Don't you just hate criticism? I mean, think about it. It doesn't make you feel good. You tend to question the agenda of the person giving it; is their intention to help them look better in the eyes of others at your expense? Pure and simple, criticism is a painful experience. So why should we welcome it?

The hardest subject to study is yourself. But, once you understand what you are doing wrong, you are well on your way to correcting it. Regardless of the agenda of the person giving the criticism, take it at face value. Use it for your betterment, even if it may have been given for theirs.

In the simplest of terms, if we aren’t open to criticism, we will never get any better. As Winston Churchill once said: “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary.” So, I did some research on the subject and decided to share a few quotes we should all give some consideration to:

Critics are our friends; they show us our faults. (Benjamin Franklin)

I like criticism. It makes you strong. (LeBron James)

Taking constructive criticism from others is required to get to the next level. (Wendy Starland)

When people stop giving you constructive criticism, they have most likely given up on you. (Anon)

Success comes from curiosity, concentration, perseverance and self-criticism. (Albert Einstein)

Do not take constructive criticism from people who have never constructed anything. (Eric Thomas)

For criticism to be effective … first and foremost the criticizer should be credible and trusted by the recipient. The criticism should also …

  • be conveyed with good intentions

  • be given in a timely manner

  • be clear and easy to understand

  • be helpful, not hurtful, to the recipient

  • never be personal in nature

Being criticized is no fun, but everyone needs guidance, correction, and criticism if they are to succeed. When someone takes the time to criticize us, we all need to try and see it in a positive way. Praise makes us all feel good, but to get better requires criticism. I heard it once said: “If nothing bad is ever said, nothing good will ever get done”.

I’ll leave you with the brilliant words of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who said:

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined with praise than saved with criticism.”


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