Being a leader is not easy and it surely is a big responsibility. It of course comes with many rewards as people trust you, follow you and you are their inspiration. However, there is another side of the coin as well where people disrespect you and a lot of criticism, sometimes with your fault and sometimes with no fault of yours. In order to succeed in life, it is important that criticism is taken in stride.
Winston Churchill said “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” There is no point in being defensive while justifying your action. Here are some useful tips for dealing with criticism as a leader for both short term and long term benefits:
Do not Deceive Yourself
The easiest way to respond to any kind of criticism is by justifying your action and then turn the criticism into praise. It is important that you figure out whether the criticism is simply rude or is constructive. Do not always feel as if you are being misunderstood or misjudged as by doing so you will again come into the defensive mode. Often, what you need to hear the most is what you do not want to hear. Many a times, a critic teaches you a lot of things, things that your friends would not ever tell you.
It is important that you be respectful as you are a leader no matter what. Thank the critique if the criticism was useful. However, if the feedback was uncalled for, then simply smile at the critic and kill him with kindness.
Keep Praise and Blame Separate from Success and Failure
Praise for a good work that you did or your achievements are something that you definitely like. However, at the same time, you can only learn when you hold yourself accountable when something goes wrong. Moreover, praise and blame do not always measure you success or failure. The point is to understand that criticism always does not rob you off your success.
Knowing yourself is not enough and it is important that you change yourself. Take the criticism in the positive way only when it is coming from a wise person. Try and pull out something positive from all the negative comments made against you. Learn from your mistakes and always remember that there is always space for improvement. Do not take anything personally and this would help you to come out of the situation in a better way and help you to improve as a person.
Leaders usually have many people working under them and it is important that you praise them whenever they deserve your praise and do not praise them only because you fear criticism. Thus being a good leader it is very important for you to handle the criticism in a positive manner.