Why leaders should embrace their critics by Barbara Morris at The Globe and Mail on 27 May 2013.

An article about why people should pay attention to their critics.  Main themes of:
1. Seek different perspectives; value contrarians
2. learn from mistakes
3. take thoughtful action
4. Actively and optimistically pursue new opportunities.

An interesting exercise to get different perspectives is using Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats where 6 different coloured hats (actual or metaphorical) are used to represent: information, emotions, discernment, optimistic response, creativity, and meta thinking.  What I really like is that the person assigned the discernment or “black” hat is supposed to offer contrarian thoughts – you’ve empowered that person to do something difficult without having the pressure to “conform to the norm”.

I don’t recall meeting anyone who ever enjoyed criticism (myself included), but you have to sit back and think on why criticism bothers you.  Is there any validity to the criticism – even a small part?  If there is, take the salient points away and create an action plan to fix the situation.  If there is no validity, it may be worth educating the person on why the criticism isn’t valid – they may not have an understanding of all the factors at play.  You may not win them over, but at least they should notice that you care enough to spend some time with them to go over their concerns.


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