Recently there was a news article which mentioned about a massive media scandal involving the senior vice president of Uber, a ride sharing app. He suggested that Uber hire a team of opposition researchers and journalists, with a million-dollar budget, to dig into the personal lives and backgrounds of media figures who reported negatively about their company. The whole internet went into a frenzy lambasting Uber for its inability to take criticism. At the time of the incident, Uber was massively growing and was being valued at 20 billion dollars.
I’ve had a mixed track record when it comes to handling criticism. Sometimes, I tend to take criticism in my stride and sometimes I get vehement about it. Mostly I try to be defensive. All these attributes are wrong especially if I ever dream of being a man of substance. From the Uber episode, I thought of many events in my own life, when faced criticism, I had to react-only to berate myself for not listening to atleast the positive criticism. I then asked myself, why is it important to manage criticism? As I kept thinking, I felt some thoughts and hence sharing them as follows:
In life, most of the time, we discuss about success and failure. There is a clear demarcation line between being successful and being a loser. However criticism is like the grey area and it is going to be present in either scenarios. It may appear constant but it increases depending on how successful you are and also how much you have sunk into the depths of oblivion. Criticism can slow your success march or hasten your fall if not taken in the right spirit.
Criticism is like thorns to a rose. A beautiful rose will have the prickiest of thorns, but it will not kill it. The death of dying flower would be hastened by its thorns. You cannot build yourself for success if you don’t build yourself for criticism. Hard work, perseverance and focus are the hallmarks of success.
Managing criticism should always be factored into the equation. Why? As you grow more successful. there will be increased and enhanced good and bad criticism. People may sing praises about you and also criticize you heavily behind your back and in front of you for what you have done and not done. This shouldn’t be taken to heart but be used for growth and continuous improvement. It has to be kept in mind that growth, success and victory are not final. They can change with time. Criticism will be continuous as it can be considered as the feedback loop. If you do nothing about the feedback loop, the process fails one day and hence continuous improvement is imperative. It will only come from understanding and managing criticism.
When faced with criticism, make it a point to write it down and seperate them into two sections where you can see those which can be used to drive growth and those which can be thrown away. Tear the page of the criticism that can be thrown away and keep the one which can be factored into growth of your life journey.Since we all lead incomplete and imperfect lives till we die, whatever we do is never going to be complete or perfect. However we can improve by managing criticism and spurring growth eventually.
- People will praise you and chide you in the same breath.
- Consistent and proactive criticism management strategy should be factored into your growth and success plan for lasting success.
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