Effective Education Leaders Handle Criticism Well
Criticism is hard for most of us to take, even if it is constructive. Whether it is solicited or simply given, doing a good job of handling feedback from others is a skill that can be developed. How? I am glad that you asked. I have a four-step process for dealing with criticism that I think will help you.
Know yourself- The first step is to know yourself, inside and out. You have to be introspective, sifting through criticism, and focusing on areas that have merit. This is not as easy as it seems, a few people can be honest with themselves. You know if you are impatient, temperamental, selfish, judgemental, vindictive, etc. Now you just have to own up to it.
Change yourself- Now that you know what your deficiencies are, you have to work hard to change. It doesn’t come naturally to most people, but it is a necessary part of the process. You have to make a concerted effort to recognize when you are exhibiting negative behaviors and redirect them to behaviors that are more positive.
Accept yourself- Now that you have begun the process of change, don’t be too hard on yourself. Change doesn’t come overnight. It may take weeks or months for you to see any progress, but once your habits begin to change, exhibiting a new behavior will be like second nature. However, you have to realize that you will still make mistakes, but that’s ok, as the race is won by those that endure.
Forget about yourself- Stop thinking about what people say about you. As a public figure, you are a huge target for criticism, no matter how well you lead. This is just a fact of life. With each decision that you make, no matter how common sense, you will have some people who love you for it and some people to hate you. Learn to be comfortable with the naysayers, and let them criticize you until the cows come home. It just comes with the territory. If everyone loves you and agrees with all of your decisions, that means that you are a people pleaser, and people pleasers make terrible leaders.