The Learning Process
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Accepting Criticism -

Fair and Objective Criticism
Not all comments designed to help a person will be framed as positive statements. Sometimes it is more to the point to describe and discuss why certain behavior should not occur, especially when the goal is to replace one behavior with a different behavior.

       It is very important that all criticism be offered when the person receiving it is in a receptive mode. Negative comments should never be given when the person delivering the comments is upset, angry, or distracted. The body language and choices of emotionally charges words used to deliver the message can cause communications to be perceived as personal attacks.

       When there are emotional bonds between the individuals, saying "I am sorry" may not erase the hurt feelings, This is especially true if the comments occured in front of group of your peers.  Adult communications to a child already have an undisputed issue of power and control as a subtext that is understood, but unstated domance and submissiveness.

       Teenagers rarely are receptive towards negative comments. They may appear to listen, and even may be polite, but will not act on the "suggestions" that are taken to be "Orders" or an "Ultimatum" from an adult.  The same comments in a peer to peer may invoke a response of "Who made you the Boss!" in a light hearted way that can defuse the situation.

Things to Remember -
  • Is it your actions or work product being criticized or is it you as a person?

  • Most people will make comments when they want you to improve your work.

  • People who have difficulty accepting criticism are less likely to succeed in their profession.

  • Anticipate potential situations and prepare responses.

  • If caught unprepared, thank the person and tell them you will consider their position. Always give yourself time to think about what to say in response, as well as when and where to respond. Blurting out your initial thoughts can cause lots of problems later.

  • Sometimes comments that are direct towards are intended to put you in a less advantageous position. Sometimes it is to your advantage to have an obvious mistake that is easy to solve so your boss can feel they've contributed and even taken possession of your work as their own.

  • If the opportunity arises, have someone you trust to give you an objective view prior to submitting a report. In this way you can use the feedback to anticipate what legitimate responses others may have. This allows you to modify the report or organizing the plus and minuses of keeping the statement of concept in the report. 

  • If someone using his/her status to assert authority over you, accept it or look for another job or volunteer position.

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