How to make peace with criticism

Is it just us or is the air getting a bit brisker the higher up we climb on the corporate ladder?

If you are a women, you’re more likely to receive criticism not only for your performance at work but also for your personality. A study confirms that only 2% of men get personality-related criticism at work while 76% of women hear words like “abrasive” and “judgemental.”

The author of New York Times article Learning to Love Criticism says: “Powerful women tend to receive overreactive, shaming and inappropriately personal criticism. Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s colleagues in the Senate making comments about her weight. Christiane Amanpour being blasted for expressing even a hint of anger about the deaths of children in Syria. Hillary Rodham Clinton for not looking well rested enough while circling the globe.”

This is unfair, ridiculous, but it’s also a fact.

So let’s not get dissuaded. Let’s rather find a way to embrace criticism as a surefire sign that we’re on the right path and let’s develop a teflon approach when it comes to dealing with criticism. Nothing sticks and nothing bothers. The article Learning to Love Criticism shares a number of ways to achieve that. Why don’t you give them a try — we sure will:

  • Identify another woman whose response to criticism you admire and try to emulate it
  • Learn to view criticism as information about the other person’s preferences rather than a comment on you
  • Ask yourself whether the criticism cuts so deep because it is related to a doubt you may hold about yourself
  • Don’t get blinded by praise and don’t get paralyzed by criticism

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