Why is it that we often shy away from criticising others or shrink when we are ourselves face criticism? It’s time to rewire our brains and embrace the gift that is constructive criticism. As, not only can it help us identify areas of improvement, but it also builds resilience as we climb the ladder to the top.
Today’s tips are coming from a place of love and will help you soldier through your next performance review when your boss pulls you aside to have a ‘chat’ or protect you from your own self-focused negative thoughts. You’re only three steps away from growing thicker skin and pushing through to become to best you. Let’s go…
YOUR FUTURE SELF DEPENDS ON IT
Do you feel your guard immediately shoot up when your boss/colleagues have feedback about your work? Especially when you’ve genuinely put in your best effort and dedicated time to write the report, work on the project or even just send the email.
Usually, our instant reaction is defensive as a way of protecting ourselves and our feelings. But in this instance it’s far more productive to be open, accepting the feedback and committing to a journey of improvement.
Next time you’re served a hot dish of criticism, take it and implement the learning. Allow the points sink in and try to take yourself out of the equation. It’s not about you, it’s about your growth.
Yet I find that if your manager has been particularly rough on you, it’s ok to get a second opinion, to ensure that their treatment of you isn’t straying into the lane of bullying. Show a colleague or mentor your work, ask them their honest opinion, and to give you any advice on how they would improve it. Take the time to really listen and if there are similarities between your manager’s feedback take it on the chin and make a plan for how you’re going to correct the work. It’s important that if you are given the opportunity to re-submit a project, you put in the hours and go above and beyond the recommended changes asked. This will show your boss you are adaptable and can rise to any challenge.
IT’S A FORM OF RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
Our friends are like our extended family; they have our backs and make us laugh even when we want to cry. Can you say the same for your colleagues or, worst still, your boss?
When someone takes the time to carefully and thoughtfully offer you constructive criticism, 9/10 it’s because they actually like you and not the opposite. Similarly to when a parent says “I’m only hard on you because I love you”, it’s a tough act of kindness. How you respond to the person will be the measure for how much you get out of the situation. Do you sulk and ignore them for the rest of the week or take it on the chin and go back for further feedback later down the line? As Ellie from Love Island said “If a relationship isn’t tested, how can you know it’s real?”
TOP TIP: Many professionals attribute their success to having an industry mentor. Use this as an entry-point to build a mentor and mentee relationship and make yourself accountable to someone that has your back.
POSITIVELY PLAN AHEAD
Now, when you turn the spotlight on yourself can you take a critical look at your own life without inadvertently releasing that evil inner voice? Did you know that up to 70% of our thoughts about our self are negative. Therefore making it very difficult to offer ourselves constructive criticism, rather than destructive criticism.
For example, you may have goals to start your own podcast or even learn how to code. Instead of building ourselves up to just do it, you’re more likely to tear yourself down by focusing on your weaknesses and shortcomings.
But believe it or not, the negative self-talk can be used for your good! Being able to point out your own weaknesses is a great sign of honesty and the true victory lies in what you do with that information. Take that criticism and turn it into goals! Pick 3 of your ‘pain points’ and create specific and measurable goals to power through for the next half of the year.
The fashion industry is a tough one but just remember, even our super successful role models have to answer to someone too. You’re not alone in that. Every piece of feedback will thicken your skin and criticism is only constructive if there is a learning or solution that comes from it. That part depends on you.
Words by Angela Baidoo