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Turn Criticism into Compliments

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The members of Connect: Professional Women's Network share tips on how to make criticism work in your favor. To learn more and join the group for free, visit http://www.linkedin.com/womenconnect.

The members of Connect: Professional Women's Network share tips on how to make criticism work in your favor. To learn more and join the group for free, visit http://www.linkedin.com/womenconnect.

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  • 1. BROUGHT TO YOU BY Turning Criticism into Compliments The members of Connect: Professional Women’s Network offer tips on how to make criticism work in your favor.
  • 2. Take the edge off. “Instead of using the word criticism, I call it feedback. Some of the best feedback I ever had was given when I was not ready to hear it. If you consistently hear the same feedback from different sources, then people are experiencing you in a certain way. That is valuable information to have.” Tracy Thomsen-Copeland, Senior Manager at Capital One
  • 3. Don’t react right away. “Listen to the criticism and check your reaction. If a response is required, I say that I appreciate the feedback but I need an evening to think things through. Removed from the situation, I can think more clearly about the words and get away from my immediate desire to justify my actions.” Tasha Overmyer, Guest Services
  • 4. Separate the content from the delivery. “I think it can be helpful to recognize that there are two parts to any message: the content and the way it is delivered. There may well be some useful content in the message, despite the way in which it is being delivered.” Janice Taylor, Career Coach at Blue Sky Career Consulting
  • 5. Ask for examples. “Early in my career, I would bristle when criticized. As I have spent more time in Corporate America, I take pause and really listen. I ask for examples of areas that could have been handled differently. Truthful data is critical, as is knowing your audience.” Sue Soderholm, Global Compliance Management
  • 6. Keep emotions in check. “I do my best not to go to an emotional place, to listen deeply for what the speaker is trying to say, ask clarifying questions and thank them for the feedback. I then take a couple of days to reflect. In most cases, criticism has led to my making changes that led to positive outcomes.” Tabby Hinderaker, Founder, dailyARC Coaching and Consulting
  • 7. …Or let the emotions flow (privately). “What I‟ve learned to do is allow that emotion to come, sit on it for a bit, and force myself to think about how what they‟re saying might be true.” Katrina Holland, NAACP Portland
  • 8. Seek mutual understanding. “I turn criticisms into positives by looking at them from the other person‟s perspective and helping them understand (if applicable) that the context they‟re seeing me in is limited and that I would love for them to see a different view („Let‟s go to lunch so we can get to know one another better.‟)” Natasha Call, Investor Relations Consultant, Graphic Designer
  • 9. Be proactive about asking for feedback. “I‟ve learned to seek input on an article, plan or project before completion. Somehow, that removes a bit of the sting. I‟ve approached it with an open mind for input, so in my mind it‟s not criticism when it‟s delivered.” Jo Ann Livingston, writer/journalist
  • 10. Move forward. “Taking a deep breath, saying something like „I hear what you‟re saying. I want to be able to correct this,‟ and asking what you could do differently is always a proactive way of handling harsh criticism.” Sherry Shrallow, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • 11. Ask for advice. “If you need to respond immediately, say „I can understand how you would see it that way. Here‟s my thought process (explain yourself). Although my intent may have been in line with yours, my execution obviously wasn‟t. From your perspective, what could I do better?” Hilary Murdock, Professional Dot Connector
  • 12. Think it through. “1) Above all, do not get mad, and do not cry. If you need to, do it when you‟re alone; 2) Forcibly destress: vigorous exercise helps you sort your thoughts; 3) When you‟ve calmed down, consider whether the feedback has ever been echoed by someone else. If so, there might be validity to the criticism.” Mary Barton, Vice President, Employee Engagement
  • 13. Make a choice. “Although criticism may sting, we have two choices: 1) dwell on it and believe it or 2) try to look at it objectively, decide if it has any truth and, if it does, work to improve. Criticism for me has always been a catalyst to hone my skills in a positive and productive way.” Ruthie Owen, Event Planner and Fundraiser Coordinator
  • 14. Join the conversation! Connect: Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi, is an online community on LinkedIn that helps women achieve the careers they want and discuss the issues relevant to their success. For more great insights from Connect members, check out the discussions: How have you turned a criticism into positive action? and When is it time to move on? Visit linkedin.com/womenconnect for more information and to join the group the free! Photo Credits: 1: Pressmaster/Shutterstock 2: pupunkkop/Shutterstock 3: racorn/Shutterstock 4: bloomua/Shutterstock 5: Dell‟s Official Flickr Page 6: De Visu/Shutterstock 7: Aleshyn_Andrei/Shutterstock ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. 8: Dell‟s Official Flickr Page 9: TED Conference/Flickr 10: rickyd/Shutterstock 11: Dell‟s Official Flickr Page 12: Warren Goldswain/Shutterstock 13: Angel James de Ocampo/Flickr CONNECT: PROFESSIONAL WOMEN‟S NETWORK 14
  • 15. ©2013 LinkedIn Corporation. All Rights Reserved. CONNECT: PROFESSIONAL WOMEN‟S NETWORK 15