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Do Not Respond Defensively

Rather than trying to avoid criticism, expert performers welcome it. They seek out coaches and advisors who can give them constructive, sometimes even painful feedback. They then use this feedback as a guide for steady improvement. Here are some steps you can take to handle criticism effectively:

1. Acknowledge Your Error

Acknowledging a mistake is not the same as acknowledging that you are an inferior person/a failure. If you believe the criticism is accurate, take full responsibility. Don't blame something or someone else and don't make excuses. If appropriate, offer a diplomatic apology: I'm sorry that my actions led to that result. It certainly was not my intention. Again, if appropriate, ask for suggestions on how you can improve your performance the next time.

2. Take Corrective Action

After you ve heard the other person out completely, and listened to any suggestions for improvement, state/communicate your eagerness to improve in the future. If appropriate, describe any actions you will take at his time to counterbalance your previous error.

3. Acknowledge the other persons motive

Thank the other person for the feedback and make sure to state how valuable you consider it. This demonstrates your ability to use criticism as a way to improve an essential quality of a leader. In addition, let the other person know that you are open to receiving his or her feedback in the future.
Even when you don't care for the style in which criticism is presented, be thankful that the other person is willing to give you feedback, and along with it, an opportunity to improve.
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