I love affirmation. Words of praise. Acknowledgement of accomplishments. Encouragement. They give me a boost.
At the same time, I’ve learned to appreciate critics. Don’t always like what is said. Don’t always agree. But, when criticism comes, it’s worth taking time to consider its content.
The truth is, nobody gets it right all the time. To pretend you do or to act like you do leads to a fall.
A key element to courageous communication is the willingness to bring to a discussion shortfalls, mistakes and shortcomings.
When someone suggests ways you can perform better, it’s worth jumping past the tendency to be defensive and concentrate on the content of the feedback.
That’s where growth and development occur.
I had a teacher say once if you had a colleague who only says what you want to hear as compared to one who is constantly critical, you’re better off listening to the critical one. Because criticism will offer occasionally an opportunity to get better while constant affirmation will fail to evoke or to provoke change.