Tips for coping with critical people Part – 2

The Wright Brothers faced criticism throughout their experiment in aviation

The Wright Brothers faced criticism throughout their experiment in aviation

This week we continue with part two of an article I call “Tips for coping with critical people.”  We must realize that within any occupation or position of leadership criticism will always follow you.  Sometimes the criticism is constructive and meant to help you become a higher quality leader or individual.  Other times the criticism is meant to hurt you and is motivated by a person of insecurity or envy.  Either way you have to be prepared to handle criticism properly, because there is no escaping it!

In my book “In Search of Higher Ground” I point out that the Wright Brothers faced criticism throughout their experiment in aviation.  For most people it was a crazy notion that someone could fly.  People actually thought that the human body could not withstand going faster then 100 m.p.h.  The Wright Brothers obviously succeeded and today we all reap the benefits of their ability to overcome criticism.

Before I give you a few more tips on dealing with criticism, let’s review the points in last week’s article of Leadership Matters:

Face the critic within (Take a look inside of yourself and discover the areas where you are critical)
Don’t tune them out  (Be sure to listen and decide what could be helpful)
Filter the amount you let in (Be careful to allow only certain voices to have a place in your life)
Host a complaint session (If you have someone who continues to criticize, host a meeting with them and talk it out)

Here are a few more “Tips for coping with critical people”

1)  Put things in perspective
The hard part of living with critics is that we care more about what they say then we would like to admit.  One way to help you avoid letting the criticism beat you up is to keep it in the proper perspective.  Is what they are saying true?  Are they only saying it because they are envious or insecure?  Keep in mind the source of the information and allow what is good to impact you and what is bad, you throw it out.

2)  Beware of the critic’s triangle
Most critics complain to several people before they complain to you.  Much like gossips, they review your performance in front of your colleagues when you are not present.  You can detect these kinds of critics because they make remarks about others when they are with you.  You may be tempted to let down your guard because these people make your feel as if you are one of their dearest confidants.  When you are surrounded by this kind of critic, be careful, they will subtly and carefully hurt you in more ways then one!

3) Don’t let criticism kill your dreams
Perhaps the deadliest poison to your dreams is criticism.  We allow what people say to dictate our attitude toward our own aspirations.  Think of Walt Disney, he had a dream to create a theme park called “Disneyland.”  He was rejected by over 450 lending institutions and many criticized his ideas saying “it will never work Walt, give it up.”  He never allowed the critic to kill his dream and now millions have benefited from his ability to overcome the critic.  Stay focused on your dream and don’t allow the critic to slow you down!

Criticism can be a wonderful tool in shaping your potential or it can be a destructive tool destroying your soul.  Be careful in dealing with criticism, learn from it and move on, but don’t ever let it slow you down!

Until Next Time,

Chris Sonksen

“If you don’t have a few people laughing at your dreams,
it may just mean your not dreaming big enough.”
Dale Galloway


About Chris Sonksen

Chris Sonksen is the founder and Lead Pastor of South Hills Church and has an exceptional ability to inspire both secular and non-secular audiences. Under his leadership, South Hills has experienced phenomenal growth and in just a few short years has grown from a handful of people to nearly 3000 in attendance today. Today South Hills has become a thriving, multi-service and multi-site church. Chris has a magnetic, captivating and humorous style for motivating and inspiring all audiences. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken both nationally and internationally in companies such as Verizon, Securitas and Home Depot, and there is no doubt that by applying his teachings, his audience will improve the quality of their lives! Chris is the author of two books In Search of Higher Ground and Handshake. Chris is the founder of Celera Church Strategy Group an organization with an unwavering commitment to excellence in all things, with the goal to “raise the national average of church attendance,” by equipping church leaders with resources and coaching. Chris brings high-energy focus and a passion for vision and leadership to encourage and equip the local Church. Chris is a native Californian, born in Long Beach and currently resides in Corona with his wife, Laura and their two children, Grace and Aidan.

Posted on July 18, 2009, in Communication, criticism, Leadership, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The information regarding “gap of perception between leaders and team members” is extremely valid. I lead a sizeable group of employees in multiple states and this simple, yet effective approach of appreciation works. Most leaders study ROI on a routine basis. In my opinion, nothing compares to the ROI of praise for a job well done, or professing sentiment of appreciation. I am human and can forget this from time to time. The reminder is indeed helpful.

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