So. You know what I’m thinking about today? Criticism. I just had one of those meetings with my boss where you sit down and make chatter about how you’re doing so far on the job.
He had a few pieces of criticism to chew over (Stop coming in at 9am. Stop coming in oversized dinosaur costumes on Thursdays. Stop yelling out ‘Dongle!’ for no apparent reason at 10am every morning.) And it made me think. I’m kind of crap at taking criticism – I have to make an effort to not get all defensive about it. Mostly, I think, because I’m convinced that I’m secretly right about everything, and having people telling me I’m wrong makes me want to shout “LIES! You’re all Lies!”
Unfortunately that doesn’t go over well. (Not that I’ve ever stood on a table and yelled ‘Lies!’ to a critiquee.)
(I’m just very intuitive, and intuition tells me it would end badly.)
It seems, though, that my gut response to criticism isn’t unique. There’s a lot of advice around criticism out there (on the interweb) and most of it is all ‘open mind’ and ‘cool, calm response’ ‘ask for examples’ mostly though I just end up nodding and grinning like a ninny so that I don’t end up saying “Yes, you like it done this way, but my way is better. So we’ll just do it my way, ok!”
I do like what my friend Becks calls the shit sandwich though. It’s all about the criticism snuck in between two pieces of squishy complementary bread. I”m so busy stroking my own ego over the compliments that the criticism sneaks in past the bit of me that yells “LIES!” and throws tantrums.
How do you take criticism?