Empathy key to accepting constructive criticism

None of us like to be criticized, corrected, or interrupted. We work hard and we try to do the best for others. So when someone finds fault with what we have done, we typically have one of two reactions.


When someone is truly trying to give you constructive criticism, try to empathize first. Putting yourself in their shoes and hearing where they are coming from can give you a different perspective on the issue. You may still find you disagree and you may still feel somewhat insulted, but most of the time, thinking about the issue from their perspective takes a bit of the anger away and helps you be more objective. This approach is especially helpful if the person finding fault is emotionally involved or feeling slighted in any way. Listen to what the person has to say, tell him that you understand why he feels that way and then explain what led you to do what you did without “justifying it”. If you did hurt the other person’s feelings unintentionally, apologize.


Renee Weisman