Giving and Accepting Criticism with Grace


As much as we would all like to think that we are capable of being our own critics, occasionally we could all use some feedback about how we’re doing at work, in school, or at home. But, the word “criticism” has a somewhat negative connotation because of the way most people look at it—they see it as being told that they’re doing something wrong, and no one likes that. Have you ever experienced that moment of immediate self-defense walls coming up when someone wants to give you any feedback (unless it’s to tell you everything is perfect)? This reaction is perfectly normal, but not very helpful when such guidance is actually critical to your success in the long-run.

The same goes for when you need to give a team member some valuable criticism that will help them grow in doTERRA. If you are worried about coming across as negative and nitpicky, that could hold you back from giving them much-needed help. It can be hard to know how to give people criticism in a constructive way so that they will receive it and act on it.

The trick in both situations is how you choose to handle the information. At times, you will have to rewire some of your habits and thoughts about feedback entirely. For example:
 

  1. Be humble. Accept the fact that criticism is part of life, and that no one escapes it. You are not infallible, and will make mistakes no matter how careful you are. Knowing that this does not make you any less valuable of a team member, but simply human, can help you face the moment of feedback with grace. This is also something to realize in giving feedback—your opinion might not be exactly what needs to happen, and you are not always right either.
     
  2. Don’t allow yourself to continually mull over the conversation. Don’t replay the conversation repeatedly in your mind, especially if it hit some tender spots. Don’t rehash it with friends. You will only find your emotions heightened and be less likely to take the advice at face-value.
     
  3. See the differences in intent. If you’re on the receiving end of feedback, is the person genuinely trying to help you, or only hurt you with their words? Be careful to take your personal feelings out of this assessment—advice can sting but still be meant kindly. If the advice is meant to be helpful, take it into consideration. When you’re the person giving feedback, be sure that your tone and body language align with your purpose—to guide and advise.
     
  4. Look for the truth. Even when the words are a personal attack, take what they say and look for what could be true in it. You can still put to use any feedback, even when it was meant to tear you down, and in the long run it can benefit you regardless of the intent.
     
  5. Feedback from others can be useful to you, even if you don’t do exactly what they tell you to do. Look for the core issue behind the advice or criticism they may be giving you, and decide for yourself what will be the best way to deal with the problem at hand. You know your life and business better than anyone else, and you know what will help it—if you’re willing to take criticism from others to honestly analyze where your issues are.
     
  6. Simply tell your team or upline that you are open to feedback, and mean it. This works two ways, it helps people relax and feel like they can give you their perspective, and it shows them an example of how to they can handle any feedback they receive from you. If they see you receiving feedback well and applying it, this will make them more open to being honest with you in the future, and could prevent unseen problems from festering.
     
  7. Don’t be angry if you team members don’t listen to you, even if you gave them well-meaning criticism. Be patient with them as they learn and grow. They may apply it later on after they have learned the hard way, or they may have actually applied your advice in a different way that you don’t recognize. Acknowledge their improvement, even if it’s not in the way that you suggested.

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