I’ve never met a person that couldn’t take a compliment.

Of course I have met the vast landscape of personalities when dealing with positive feedback, but nevertheless they all tend to deal with the positive reinforcement quite well.

Some of the personalities are as follows…

  • The extraordinarily humble -> “Aww you shouldn’t have”
  • The “Pretend” humble -> “Aww you shouldn’t have, but since you did…”
  • The balanced personality -> “Why thank you very much, I appreciate the kind words”
  • The slightly arrogant -> “I did do a great job didn’t I?”
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    and last but not least…

  • The Egomaniac -> “I am just that awesome, you are lucky that you are here talking to me right now.”

All different ways of handling a compliment, the common bond is that all of these personalties enjoy receiving them.

Enter Criticism.

I’ve also never met a person that genuinely appreciated criticism. Personally, both me and my fragile ego have issues with it.

In my life and travels I have met the people who say they are okay with it (They Cry at Night) as well as the people who cannot handle it whatsoever (They cry at night too, but during the day as well).

Criticism is rooted in many things. It can come from failure(s). However, it can also come from jealousy, insecurity, genuine empathy, hubris, as well as numerous other sources.

What is important to understand is that in the peaks and valleys that are life, you will be criticized. In fact, the more successful you become the more likely you will be criticized. I liken it to the “Crabs In A Bucket Mentality;” No matter what most people tell you, they don’t want your success to be greater than there own.

With this in mind, you will have to learn to deal with criticism. If you handle it well, your likelihood of success increases. If you allow it to consume you, it will impact your performance and your character.

Criticism may never grow on you, but it is a battle you can win. Here are 4 things to apply to better deal with criticism.

  1. Be Humble: When criticized, your rebuttal needs to be founded in strong character. Being angry and/or arrogant will not reflect well on you.
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  3. Be Accepting: Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Whether good, bad, right, wrong, they have one and that is part of life. You don’t have to accept that their criticism is founded in fact or accuracy. But you do have to respect they are entitled to their opinion.
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  5. Be Strong: In dealing with criticism you must show strength. When the criticism is based in truth it is important you focus on the learnings from your failure. When the criticism is based on opinion or even worse on lies, you must show strong character and not stoop to the lower level of those engaging in the negative dialogue.
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  7. Be The Bigger Person: State your case rationally, based on 1-3 above. Do not engage in a battle of who can scream the loudest. Remember, you can win the argument and lose big in the process. Further, pick your battles. Not every act of criticism against you requires a response. Sometimes not responding is the best response.

At the very root of it, criticism is simply the opinion of another. Whether you like it or not, your critics will come at you from now until kingdom come. It is best to be prepared and to handle it like a pro.

How will you rise above?

Daniel Newman
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Daniel Newman

Founder and President at Broadsuite, Inc.
After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change the way business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 4x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the co-founder of V3B [Broadsuite], a marketing firm specializing in the digital space, helping companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world.
Daniel Newman
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