Receiving Criticism


Receiving criticism is your chance to show off a rare skill; your ability to take negative feedback well. Believe me, it’s not easy. It takes years of practice and a lot of self-awareness. But you have an advantage. Because of the nature of our business, you get to practice receiving feedback almost daily. You get real feedback from your real customers all the time. You don’t have to wait for an annual performance review or even a survey.

So getting feedback is a good thing, but why do we often react poorly? Easy. People are terrible communicators! It’s true! Most people aren’t aware of their tone or even the impact their choice of words has on their message.

We react poorly for other reasons as well. For example:

  • The criticism may seem wrong or unfair.
  • You may dislike or disrespect the person delivering the feedback
  • The feedback may truly disrupt your sense of identity.

All feedback has some truth in it. In some cases, it might only reveal how crazy others are! The more you understand about communication and why feedback causes negative feelings, the easier it is to react appropriately and learn from the experience.

Whether it’s verbal, written, from a resident, or even from a peer, here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you receive some unpleasant feedback.

  1. Don’t get angry

This can cause anger on both sides and mistrust.

  1. Don’t cry

The only thing that will be remembered is your tears.

  1. Don’t deny it

This causes doubt and eats away at your credibility.

  1. Don’t blame others

This is a guaranteed way to lose respect.