Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tips on handling criticism constructively

Good advice for law students heading into their summer jobs and to keep in mind when reviewing feedback from professors next fall.  From The Business Insider (footnotes omitted):

  • Listen up. Figure out whether the criticism is constructive or simply rude. You may feel hurt when your partner says you’re controlling, but having him point out this flaw may help you change and ultimately save the relationship. If criticism could be helpful, lend all ears and try to learn from it instead of getting defensive.
  • Respond calmly. Be respectful no matter what, and thank someone if the feedback is useful. If the critique is uncalled for (that story you wrote was crap!), kill em with kindness. A simple smile makes you the bigger person.
  • Don’t take it personally. Try to remove yourself from the situation and focus on what’s being critiqued. That C+ midterm doesn’t reflect your A+ personality! Instead, it’s a reminder to study a little harder next time, skip all that partying the night before, or realize that calculus simply isn’t your biggest strength.
  • Manage stress. When we’re constantly on edge, we can feel out of control and unable to respond to criticism with a clear head. So take a deeeep breath to keep those stress levels in check.
  • Keep on keepin on’. Remember that the criticism represents just one person’s point of view. Know what your strengths are and don’t let other people’s opinions keep you from working hard towards a goal. If somebody says you’re too short to be a power forward, start working on that jump shot!

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