Etiquette Tip of the Week: What you know will help you grow

One of the hardest things to take, especially when we first enter the professional world, is how to accept “constructive criticism.” How we advance in our professional lives depends on our ability to accept and incorporate feedback.  We need to take guff in order to give guff.

It’s not easy. None of us likes to be reminded by others that we are not perfect. Even when you call it “constructive” to sound nice, the word “criticism” still sticks.  The worst part? Sometimes it comes from people we don’t like.  Or at least we don’t like them after we get their feedback.

Don’t take it personally or begrudge the person who gave it.
Hear the person out, without interrupting with excuses or self-defense.
Work on your flaws. Aim higher by breaking bad habits and raising your standards.
If the criticism is warranted and you did work to overcome it, thank the person who brought it to your attention.

If you are serious about advancement, ask for feedback.
“How was my presentation received?  Do you have any suggestions for improvement in my content or delivery?”
“I am interested in a management position.  What things do I need to work on to get there?”

What you know will help you grow.

Thank you to our friends at the Culture & Manners Institute for your thoughtful guidance and wisdom.