When you are criticized by your boss, it is not always to admit your faults. You will probably insist that you are right. Or, you will ignore the criticism. However, taking note of the criticisms that you receive may be your key to success. While it is hard to set aside your pride, don’t expect to improve if you don’t. After all, how can you change without admitting that you need to change?
Here are five reasons why criticism is the key to success:
1. Criticism is the key to improvement
Sure, it is a lot more comfortable if you never knew what you did wrong. After all, a bit of criticism can hurt your ego. However, if you receive no feedback, then how can you improve? How can you change for the better? Criticism might sting but learning to accept it and acting on it, will help you evolve into a better version of yourself.
According to a research conducted by Heaphy and Losada, that analyzed data from leadership teams to determine the ideal praise-to-criticism ratio, they found out that the leaders who received the most negative comments were the ones who improved the most. Plus, the researchers also found that the people who got the most negative feedback had the most room to grow.
Interestingly, this isn’t surprising when you consider the fact the more constructive criticism you receive, the more effort you will exert to be better. After all, criticism helps you take a step back and evaluate your current performance. This way, you are always thinking about the journey to improvement.
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark
2. Criticism helps you avoid complacency
When everything’s going right, it is easy to fall into complacency. You do not have a sense of urgency when it comes to the job. You even stop trying to improve yourself. After all, when life is smooth sailing, why not just relax? Why should you even exert an effort in the first place?
Long periods of complacency will cause you to stray from the path of success. Just imagine not caring about improvement, or not even trying to stay ahead of the game. You might be successful now, but it will not always be that way.
3. Criticism teaches you to listen
Imagine a boss who never listens. In his world, he is always right. People who thought otherwise were wrong, to the point that he openly fought with those who criticized him. Eventually, his team came to accept that there was no room for dissent. He ruled after all. If he made unreasonable demands, then they would just have to accept how things were. They hated their jobs and eventually tried to get away from work as much as they could. How do you think this story will end?
It is very easy to insist you are right after your boss has criticized your performance. After all, you believe he does not have a clear grasp of the whole story. However, if you want to learn to succeed, should you continuously believe that you are right and just ignore the criticism? I believe you know the answer.
The moment that you learn to listen is the first step towards your future success. Not only will you understand the other side’s point of view, but it is also an opportunity to listen to advice and to ask for more. This way, you can build positive working relationships.
4. Criticism helps you overcome weaknesses
Let’s say, you know your weakness. You know that you don’t deliver when it comes to presentations. You know that you are not convincing enough. You know that you don’t always pitch the right ideas. However, you don’t have the sense of urgency to overcome it. No one’s complaining about it anyway. So, what’s the rush?
To solve this, it may be important to receive criticism. One of the reasons why this works is because negative criticism can grab your attention. Think of it as a wakeup call. You suck at public speaking. No one wants to listen to you. Even your boss is criticizing you. When faced with this scenario, your frustration with your current performance will motivate you to try harder.
Plus, constant criticism increases your sense of urgency to make an effort to overcome your weaknesses every single day. So, the next time you deliver a pitch and presentation, what they’ll notice is your overwhelming improvement.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ” – Thomas A. Edison
5. Criticism helps you stay grounded
When you only receive praise and compliments for a very long period of time, it is easy to get disillusioned. You think your performance is perfect. Then, you start believing that you are better than everyone else. One day, you receive negative feedback from a colleague. However, you think you are too good and great, so you fight with your colleague and you highlight your ascendancy.
If you want to be successful, then this is the wrong path to take. It is very easy to let your ego get to your head. However, if you want to succeed then you have to use your brain and ignore your ego. This way, you can understand your own faults and you can learn to accept the viewpoints of others.
Learning to accept criticism is hard. After all, it’s difficult to accept your faults. However, you cannot be successful if you do not learn from criticism.