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Friday, February 17, 2017

Gracefully Accept and Give Criticism to Grow Stronger

No Fair! I Just got Slammed! 

Like many people you may view getting criticized as a negative--something to be feared--as in getting slammed or bad mouthed, or as someone giving you flack or grief . But it doesn't have to be that way. 

When you choose to seek out and welcome criticism instead of avoiding it you take charge of the feedback you get and set yourself up to grow stronger and more competent. 

'Kritikos'~A Neutral Appraisal

I've always loved that the original Greek word for 'criticize or critique'--'Kritikos'--was defined as a neutral appraisal. It was neither good nor bad--just a factual assessment. 

To me, the word 'kritikos' reminds me of the word, kindness--and reminds me to approach my 'kritikos' with the intent to be kind--and the intention to receive 'kritikos' from others as a kindness.

Be kind when you decide to kritikos!

Criticism: A Positive Tool 

Begin applying a 'kind kritikos' attitude to yourself. Choose to view criticism as a positive tool to enhance your personal effectiveness and improve your relationships.

By changing your view of criticism from a negative to positive evaluation, you'll improve your coach-ability, provide more meaningful and useful feedback to others, and improve your relationships. It all starts with creating positive intentions for receiving and giving feedback.
Criticism: 'To communicate information to others in a way that enables them to use it to their advantage and benefit.'

What are YOUR intentions when you criticize?

How Do You Choose to Use Criticism?

⏩Used properly, with a positive intent, criticism is used to communicate, influence, and motivate. 

⏩Used improperly, with a negative intent, criticism is used to belittle, demoralize and shut up adversaries.

It's your choice--a positive or negative intent:

⏩Choose a positive intent and you grow stronger and more competent. 

⏩Choose a negative intent and you grow hardened and bitter. 

How to Use Criticism to Communicate, Influence and Motivate

💜 Get Clear on Your Intentions

Abraham Lincoln said, 'He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.'  When you start with the proper intentions ~ to help others use information to their advantage and benefit ~ you'll speak from the heart, and you're more likely to be heard. 

When people know you care about them, they're more open to listening to, and being influenced by you.

💜 Decide to Live in a Friendly , Not Hostile, World
When you're on the receiving end, be intent to make a good use of all feedback. Make a choice to be open ~ Ask for feedback ~ welcome feedback  ~ and above all, always thank others for feedback. Be coach-able ~ and don't give others anything to push against. 

But what if you're on the receiving end of criticism, and the criticizer's intentions are not so good? You can't do anything about the other's negative intent, but you can be the master of your own soul, and influence your personal development, by deciding to accept all feedback as good. 

This doesn't mean you must take in everything said. It means you stay open to hearing, without resistance. You choose to suspend judgment so you can decide later what to keep and what to let go.

Your view of the world around you---as a friendly or hostile world-- will determine how you respond to everything else. Make a conscious decision to see the world as a friendly place, one that supports your health, happiness and well-being. 

Choose to step around the intentions of those who mean to do you harm. Stay focused on creating your own, positive, friendly world.

💜 Get the Facts

If your intentions are to keep your relationships intact, always check out your assumptions with  other people. Start feedback conversations with a soft opening like, 'Do you have a moment to talk?', then gently move into the heart of the issue, engaging in open, honest, direct communication. Ask clarifying questions and listen intently. Seek to hear and understand the other person's intent.

We all need two things to engage in open, honest, direct communication ~ courage and compassion. Some of us have plenty of compassion and we need more courage (we're too nice), while others have plenty of courage and need to develop more compassion (you're too blunt). A balance of compassion and courage is needed by all of us.

No one does conflict perfectly. And no one communicates perfectly. We're all just practicing every time we engage with other people. 

Where Can You Apply in Your Life?

💜Has someone criticized you recently? How can you turn that information into beneficial feedback that helps you develop? 

💜Where do you need to use your courage and compassion to engage others in open, honest, direct communication that could benefit both you and them?

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes letting go and moving forward with life easier than ever before.

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