We crave positive feedback and praise but loathe hearing how we need to improve. I’m no different and have worked hard over the last several years to not be so defensive when someone is pointing out my flaws.
Today, I am much better at it, though far from perfect, because I learned to say, “Thank you,” when being critiqued.
I first learned this when watching one of my daughter’s rehearsals for a children’s theater production. The director taught the kids in the cast how to receive her feedback. They were to listen intently, look at the director and simply say “thank you.” If they didn’t understand something they could ask for clarification but there was no rebuttal, no heavy sighing, no deflecting postures.
She explained that her feedback was provided to make them better. It was a sign she cared about them. Amazingly, they all bought into the system and it worked. She could give them direct feedback, in a nice way, and they received it well. “Thank you.”
Now, I try to receive criticism in the same way. I still have a long way to go. But, I listen more intently and understand the person giving it cares enough to tell me.
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