Sports and business men and women have all faced criticism, negative feedback and other roadblocks that sometimes attempt to construct, but most times attempt to destruct. It is to every self to be dealt with, and there is no exact science for this, but I would like to offer my point of view in that matter.
Listen, listen, listen.
Human beings were created with two ears and one mouth for a reason, and not two mouths and one ear, although it sometimes feels that way. When you are facing criticism, allow people to talk through, and try to listen as much as possible to know and understand where they are coming from. And when I say listen, I mean listen, not stay quiet thinking about what are you going to say when that person stops talking. Also, as a suggestion and if you have time, take some to time to read about body language. “In a spoken message, 55% of the meaning is translated non-verbally, 38% is indicated by the tone of voice, while only 7% is conveyed by the words used.” (Mehrabian, 1981).
Control your temper.
It is not easy to take criticism, and as much as we try to not let it get to us, they sometimes turn the right screws to take you to your boiling point. Acting when you are angry will only cause you to look worse and you will give that person more reasons to criticize you. The best way to answer back to critics is with results and good work. Alex Rodriguez was highly criticized for his inability to perform well in though situations. Critics said that he lacked courage and nicknamed him “the cooler”. His regular season numbers were incredible, while his playoff statistics were hideous. In 2009, he listened to critics, made adjustments, controlled his temper and delivered on the field. He broke the record for most playoff RBIs (runs batted in) and tied the record for most home-runs with an average of .365 and led the Yankees to become MLB champions. After this, the critics called him “Mr. Clutch”.
Use time as your ally not your enemy.
Take time to think about the feedback that was given to you. While there are some things that you must drop and not remember, you must identify opportunities and make adjustments with the facts that were given to you. I don’t like to use myself as an example but when I opened this blog, I was severely criticized. I was even asked to never write again. My first reaction was to delete that comment, which I should never have done. Again, don’t act when you are angry. I then read through the comment and took the time to identify potential opportunities in my writing. I am thankful to that person for pointing out wrong things about my article, and from there and on I have received very positive feedback from readers. When you have allowed the comments to sink in, then you are ready make a move.
Assess the situation.
When you have understood the why, you will have facts to decide what will your next step be. It helps to identify first who the person giving feedback is, and the feelings involved in that criticism. Feelings may vary from encouragement and constructiveness to jealousy and insecurity. Under no circumstances allow that person to bring your self esteem down. Do not take anything personal. If you found potential opportunities in the feedback choose how will you apply it wether it is in your work, business, team, game or life. If you didn’t find anything helpful in that feedback, forget that you ever heard it and move on. I would like to share with you this scene from the movie Rocky Balboa about standing tall, taking the hits and moving forward.
Fuel your motivation.
Criticism and negative feedback has been known to be a spark for motivation. There are far too many people saying “you can’t do it” or “you will not pull it of”, and most times this is just a projection of them and their lack of success. Listen to them and prove them wrong. I find it interesting how many athletes and business people enjoy taking criticism, because all it does for them is firstly, free advertising, and secondly, a reason to become even better. We hear a lot “chase your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it”, yet we still hear that same people finding flaws and pointing out that something can’t be done. Charles Atlas was fueled by bullies beating him up and became one of the most successful bodybuilders in the world. Stephen King threw his manuscript for Carrie to the trash can because he was told that it would not sell. His wife believed in what she had read, and pitched to another publisher. The book sold more than 4 million copies and then was made into a movie.
Bottom-line, listen and find opportunities, stay in control, act timely and do what you have to do. Appreciate the people who took the time to criticize you.
Everything that you wish to believe that you can do, you will do it no matter what and no matter who.
Feedback is welcome!