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How to Receive Criticism without Becoming Cynical

Inviting criticism

Criticism is desirable and useful, even if it stings.

Take criticism to a useful place by asking:

  • What do you suggest?
  • How can I be better?
  • What do you want?

"Thank you," points criticism toward useful ends.


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How to Receive Criticism without Becoming Cynical

How to Receive Criticism without Becoming Cynical


Key Ideas

5 dangers of criticism

  • Losing yourself. 
  • Isolation.
  • Self-justification.
  • Bitterness.
  • Revenge.
  • Transforming criticism

    Criticism, even done poorly, transforms leaders. The sting of criticism given years ago can still cling years later. Most often, criticisms humble you.

    Preventing criticism

    Engage people early and often. Avoid isolation. It’s difficult to criticize the plan you had a hand in making.

    Choose teammates carefully. Don’t give persistent critics a seat at the table.




    It is a school of philosophy founded in Athens around 300 B.C., and focuses on our psychological and emotional control we have on ourselves when faced with life’s different colours.


    Grit and Stoicism

    Grit is a form of perseverance and resilience mixed together, and helps us move forward in times of adversity. Grit is essential to achieving big goals and to handle the seemingly never ending obstacles and tough terrains of life.

    Combining Stoicism with Grit makes your mind invincible as you focus on the right thing no matter what happens, improving your performance and results in all aspects of life.

    Count Your Grit

    When an obstacle, a mental block, or a difficult situation presents itself, we need to pay attention to that moment and power through it with awareness, counting the grit as a +1 credit on your grit counter. This is a mini-success in itself.

    It is easier when done slowly and steadily increasing your Grits daily.

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    9 Tips To Give Constructive Criticism
    1. Use the "feedback sandwich" method when advising. Give a positive comment, then the feedback that could potentially be construed as criticism, and finish by reiterating the positive. Th...
    Constructive Criticism

    However needed it may be, people often view criticism as hurtful and feel attacked. And that puts them on the defensive, meaning they won’t be able to truly absorb what’s being criticized.

    That’s why constructive criticism is a helpful skill to develop when dealing with other people. Knowing how to do it drastically affects how the message is received.

    Why We Give Criticism
    • To help someone improve. Sometimes criticism is actual honest feedback.
    • To see a change that we would like. If we regularly read a magazine or blog, for example, there mi...
    Why Criticism Hurts or Angers
    • The criticism is mean-spirited. If you use insulting or degrading language or put down the person in any way, they will focus on that, and not on the rest of the criticism.
    • If you focus on the person instead of their actions, you will make them angry or defensive or hurt.
    • They assume you’re attacking them. Some people can’t take criticism in a detached, non-personal way. 
    • They assume they’re right. Many people don’t like to hear that they’re wrong, whether it’s true or not.
    How to Deliver Criticism Kindly
    • Don’t attack attack, insult, or be mean in any way
    • Talk about actions or things, not the person.
    • Don’t tell the person he’s wrong.
    • Don’t criticize at all. Give a positive suggestion instead.

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