Life Lessons for my sons: #1 Constructive criticism

“Don’t listen to the fact he is calling you an a##hole, listen to the reason why he is calling you an a##hole.”  Dan Dakich giving advice to Steve Alford on the coaching techniques of Bob Knight.

Boys, as you go through life, something you need to understand is that you will receive criticism.  It does not matter whether you are trying to do something or not, you are not doing anything (and thereby getting someone upset), or you need to be corrected.  Sometimes you will deserve it, and sometimes you won’t.

It is human nature to become defensive and rationalize your behavior.  It is hard to stand there and take it, and sometimes embarassing as well.

To help you deal with the feedback, I think it important that you do the following:

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.  It’s ok, everyone has them.   
  • Know what your core values are.  What is right, what is wrong?  Tip….if it involves shaming someone or makes you uncomfortable….it’s wrong
  • Who is offering the critique?  If the person is someone you love, respect, trust, thank them for the feedback.  They are trying to make you better.  If they are a scumbag or sniping from the outside, ignore it.

Mommy gives me this feedback on a daily basis.  I may not always react in the best manner, but I am trying to get better.

I was fortunate in a recent staff meeting to get some feedback on areas I was falling short.  The person giving the feedback pointed out issues with my communication style.  Their perceptions were the opposite of my intention, but in order to serve, you need to meet people where they are.  I value this relationship, so I will work at this.

You make your decision on your action, and then FAIL FORWARD!  You can’t erase the past, but you can learn from it and keep going.

Don’t act like a victim!  Don’t fall prey to this weak-minded thinking.

Best point to remember, your parents are always right (even when they are wrong)!

Readers, other lessons for my boys on this topic?


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