Someone asked me this question on Quora recently and the subject is generic enough that I decided to repeat my answer here as well. The question was - "How do I deal with criticism as a leader?"
There are various aspects to dealing with criticism.
- The first and very important aspect - Be aware where the criticism is coming from and should you take it with a grain of salt? Like it or not, people have different intentions when they criticize you and all of them are not genuine.
- If the source is genuine, means well - process the criticism and find out what you can do to change it if anything? Sometimes we have a weakness and we don't consider it big enough to work on it because we are short of time and we can pretty much do by just being aware of the weakness and not necessarily work on it. I always say - play to your strengths. But if the highlighted weakness is limiting, you need to figure out how to overcome it.
- If the feedback is appropriate, find ways to develop your personality or learn the skill. Get a mentor who is skilled in the area or take a class/workshop.
- If the feedback/source is not valid - learn to have a thick skin - easier said than done, but it helps in the long term.
Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry.
She is a consultant, writer and a leader.
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