Staying humble is one of the hardest things about success. No matter what you do, or who you become, you always have to remain humble.
Even if you aren’t a rockstar or a famous Hollywood movie star, you need to be able to keep a low-profile among your colleagues, because–let’s face it–nobody likes a showboat.
Additionally, you can’t just expect everyone to be nice to you all of the time, and feed you lines about how great you are.
Instead, you’re probably going to have to maintain a pretty thick-skin around a lot of people who you work with.
I know that one of the toughest parts about me getting on the Bravo show, was that clients who I worked with before I started filming the show were afraid I’d treat them differently after being on TV.
My friends also gave me a hard time about it, because I was pretty young when it happened.
I can admit that I was a little immature as a young agent being on TV. The first season I was being coached to be outgoing, funny, and to spice up the drama. Yet, when I saw the way I was being portrayed in the editing room, I realized that it was time to get accountable.
Season two went a lot better for me, and one of the lessons I learned during this time period has always stuck with me to this day.
In order to stay humble you have to be able to change and accept criticism.
My grandmother always taught me that you need to listen to the wisdom of everyone, and that every person has something to teach us.
Now, changing yourself may mean that you aren’t going to able to do the same things that worked in the past, and that you will have to find new ways to improve.
Or, it could mean that you have to release old habits that are standing in your way.
One of the guarantees about success is that you always need to watch out for greed, anger, resentment, and arrogance.
Today’s post is all about how to handle criticism, for a very specific reason.
In life, other people who are close to us can see what we can’t.
If perpetual growth is your goal, you can’t let others bring you down, but you also can’t forget to listen to the wisdom that other people can offer you.
How to Handle Criticism
Handling criticism, is like playing with a pet cobra. You know that it’s only a matter of time before someone in the room gets hurt.
In order to handle criticism in a professional manner, it’s important that you do the unthinkable: don’t take it personally.
I know that this is shocking, but trust me, criticism is so common in your professional daily work, that you will want to be able to accept it gracefully, rather than trying to avoid the pain.
I think everyone deals with today’s blog topic on a pretty regular basis–whether your husband critiques your parenting skills, or your boss wants you to “do better next time.” No matter what type of criticism you face, there’s something you need to watch for in any type of criticism that you receive.
Listen to the criticism that comes in, catch every word that the person says about you.
Don’t interrupt. Just sit still and really listen about what the other person is trying to communicate to you.
Sometimes, this will all be about them projecting their thoughts and insecurities onto you. Keep listening, don’t tune them out.
Other times, it may be painful to hear what you’ve dreaded they were going to say–keep your rebuttal to yourself, and just simply listen.
Think about why he or she would say this about you.
Think of instances when he or she was correct.
The most important part of all is making sure that when the other person is speaking, that you aren’t.
Now, what do most people do once they’ve been given a criticism?
They instantly shoot right back with all the reasons why they did something, or explaining why they weren’t wrong.
Don’t be that person.
Instead, sit in silence for ten or fifteen seconds and close your eyes if you have to.
Realize what the other person was really saying, or what truth stands out to you.
First Listen, Then Ask Questions
After you’ve caught your breath for a moment or two, don’t explain yourself.
It’s okay to ask questions, get more specific, and ask about feelings. You can disagree with someone about a fact, but emotions and feelings can’t be argued.
You may even want to take a few notes, because as someone who has had a lot of conversations where others have been critical of me in the past, I know that sometimes you don’t hear what the other person is saying.
Your head can become a rush of mental activity, so it’s really important that you breathe and possibly take notes.
If you are confused at all, ask. And if your feelings are hurt, you may need to have a heartfelt discussion on why something is still bothering you.
The most important thing to remember is that other people’s opinions of you don’t matter in the end, but they can help you to check your blind spots.
Be level-headed and don’t be afraid to let everything sit for a day or two before having a follow-up conversation.
If this person really cares about helping you–they will have your best interest at heart, and want to help you.
Be A Humble Leader
Staying humble isn’t easy, but it makes you approachable.
Being a humble leader means that you can both receive, and give criticism in a way that makes others look up to you.
Whether it’s in your family, your work, or even your community being able to be constructive and helpful is the key.