Dealing With Criticism . . .

Posted by on Jun 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

One of the toughest things for a leader to face is criticism.

The last thing you want to hear is what you did or said that was wrong …or how you could have done it better.  Then there comes that smack in the face, unwarranted, mean-spirited, demeaning critic whose number one motive is to cut you down to size!  They rarely do it privately, but loudly, before a grand audience.  Their goal in most cases is to get a response — tears or anger — either one  will do.

None of us like to hear how inadequate we are, how we have failed, or how someone else could have done it better.  When this happens, remember:


(1) It could be valid.  You may have missed the mark.  You may have sounded harsh, or mis-stated a fact.  There may be a gravy stain on your tie.

(2) The current circumstances of the critic could have caused the critic to lash out or become defensive.  I once had a church clerk who became very critical of my salary increase.  Later I learned that he was going through a difficult time financially.  Letting the climate cool down saved a good clerk and a member.

(3) There are times when our motives are misunderstood.  The hearer assumes your motive and misses the mark.  Responding immediately may sound like a dishonest cover-up.


By not responding immediately you have time to digest the criticism.

  • If it is valid, send them a gift or a thank you card.
  • If it is the circumstances of the critic, wait a few days, meet with them privately with love, understanding and prayer.
  • If it is slanderous, cool down, pray, and then meet with them privately …or let the water roll off the duck’s back —consider the source and move on!

The more you stand up, the more you will be misunderstood.  If you desire leadership, better develop a tough skin!

Remember… nothing is tougher than leather.  The more it has been beaten, the softer it becomes —yet never loses its durability.


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