This week I got a very interesting email from a conference I spoke at this past year. I got my evaluation forms for my session and had the chance to see all the feedback from the people in my sessions. When I recieved the email I immediatly opened up the results and the information I learned was really helpful. It was not all fun to read but after I had time to put it into context I learned some important lessons.
I noticed that no matter how many positive ratings I received I was drawn to the negative criticisms of my session. Anytime we recieve negative feedback is gets our attention more than positive feedback. As I looked over all the the feedback I learned some important ways I can help people more the next time I'm teaching at a conference, but to uncover those lessons I had to confront the criticism and learn from it.
You are going to have critics bring criticism your way. I promise that will happen and happen often as a leader. Here are a few reminders as you confront criticisim…
- Fight the natural desire to take it personal // your natural tendency will always be to push back on the critic. Work hard to not take it personal and embrace the opportunity to learn.
- Put the criticism in context // you can never treat every moment of criticisim the same because every experience comes from a unique individual. Criticisim has to be filtered through the context of who it comes from.
- Process the criticism // don't react…think. It's amazing the what we can see when we step back, think, and get a new perspective when we face criticisim.
- Even if the criticism is not valid, dig for the lesson to learn // there is a lesson to learn every time we face criticism you just have to dig deep for it. Be brave and have the courage to learn from your critics.
- Strive to keep improving // you are never going to be a perfect leader because those don't exsist. Use feedback to help you become a better leader!
- Don't believe the hype // never allow positive or negative feedback to define you. Keep your focus as a leader on pleasing God and not man.
Michael, this is a great post. Thanks for sharing and for being willing to face that criticism head on! Being willing to accept feedback from others and seeing that their insight can help you grow as a leader is very important.