The other day I got some bad news dropped in my lap. A few years ago I might have thrown a hissy fit and been passive-aggressively angry at the messenger and then sulked about it until I got over it. Luckily, I have grown up and am no longer have the maturity of a middle schooler. Yes, we’re all thankful, believe me.
Instead, my first reaction was honestly to thank the person who gave me the news. It’s hard to deliver something like that. It’s not that the other person was scared to say how they felt, it was that they feared the reaction they would get when telling me something they knew I didn’t want to hear. And since I’ve worked hard to train myself to not get mad, not get upset and not really get overly emotional, but instead to acknowledge that this person had to work up the courage to be honest and truthful with me, I did the first thing that popped into my head, which was to show my appreciation for the straightforwardness.
It’s a good lesson to use in your career and in life in general. When you get feedback of any kind, you want to thank the person for sharing that with you. It’s behavior that you want to encourage, whether it’s good or bad. And as much as it sucks to get criticism, if it’s constructive, that’s really how you grow. If you never get that negative feedback, you can never use it to motivate yourself to be better than you are.
So when you get things to work on and opportunities for improvement, thank your commentator for giving you the chance to prove yourself. Not only will the other person be relieved at your reaction and be more willing to support you down the road, but also you’ll feel a whole lot better about working towards a goal than you would if you sat and stewed for a while.
Ever freaked out at someone for critiquing you? Or are you already thanking folks for the feedback? Maybe you’re the one who’s doled out the criticism and had weird reactions to it? Let me know where you stand.