Issue 219 - Ivan Sher

Page 146


Facing Criticism: How to Deal with the Critics in Your Career and Life. “I like criticism. It makes you strong.” –LeBron James


veryone is a critic and everyone has an opinion. The key to dealing with criticism is to identify what you should listen to, and what you should allow to go in one ear and out the other. This is a skill that takes time to master, and it obviously takes years of experience to be able to differentiate the constructive criticism from the opinionated criticism. No matter what kind of criticism you may encounter, there are some things you can put into practice to become stronger in order to gracefully face your critics with courage. Know who you are and what you’re about. It all starts with this idea. There is a quote that I love from the movie Lost In Translation where Bill Murray advises a very young and confused Scarlett Johansson with the following: ‘The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.’ I think about this all the time when I go through periods in my career and life where it seems as though I can’t do something right or can’t please certain people. When you know who you are and what you’re about, you begin to identify what criticism is constructive and which is the opinion of someone who has an agenda or doesn’t like you. (Psst: Those people are ones you should move on from.)

this one is hard. Notice that I said ‘have a conversation.’ That means don’t write an email or send a text message. It’s going to take courage and guts, but I promise that you’ll feel better after you have a professional and mature conversation with a critic. These days, we all hide behind our electronic devices to avoid conflict or difficult conversations. You have to be able to defend yourself, and it is crucial that a person-to-person conversation on the phone or in person happens when you hear or read something you don’t like or that might be confusing about someone’s view of your work or skill set. You may hear things that you don’t want to hear, but in the end if you know who you are and what you’re worth, you will understand what to really listen to and take to heart. Don’t get emotional, don’t get upset just get tough and listen. Stay in your lane. Keep moving forward and don’t allow a negative review or comment make

you think twice about what you’re doing or how you’re doing it. At the end of the day, you are the only one in charge of your path, direction, and actions. If you allow what other people say to make you swerve in and out of your lane, it will slow down your process and trajectory. Stay the course, stay in your lane, and don’t worry about what other people are doing or what they say about you. The more you understand your worth and what unique attributes you bring to the table, the stronger the positive impression you will make on others. Mastering those character traits will make you stronger and able to face criticism. Claire Friday is a special events producer, writer, and career consultant who resides in Las Vegas. She writes a weekly blog entitled Done By Friday that focuses on career advancement advisement and success strategies for the self-employed entrepreneur. More information can be found on her website at MV

Understand your worth. Whatever you craft or trade may be, you must understand the value that you bring to the industry you work in or the service you provide. Your worth is so much more than how much money you make every year. It is YOUR value that you are confident in on a daily basis. You are the only one who understands how important you are in the workplace and also in your daily life. The bottom line is that you have to know that you are unique, and that your skill set is different than anyone else’s. Sure, you may do the same thing that someone else does, but I bet you do it differently. Focus on that. It makes the critics seem small when you know the value that you bring to a job and to your career. Have a conversation with your critics. Yeah,


By Claire Friday

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