From the day I saw this message hanging above the counter in my Credit Union Bank in Canada, " Fail to Plan - Plan to Fail" has stuck with me. That saying carries a very important message. If you want to get somewhere you have to say where it is you will go or what you want and make a plan on how to get there.
Is what you are hearing criticism or is it just information, so called feedback? Our daily lives, job, home and relationships are full of criticism, judgements,feedback and evaluations. And even if you think you don't do it, you do. And you likely do it more often than you think.
Your partner tells you do something this way or that way. Or you tell them, "You did this wrong and didn't finish that properly. You could have done that better by using this method, etc." Was the task really important? Does it really matter if it was done this way or that way? Would you rather be right or be happy? Well---?
Quite often folks think they are being helpful by making suggestions for change or improvements and sometimes they are. Often you may interpret that as unecessary criticism or judgement of who you are when often it is not, it is information that you sometimes need to know and understand. At the end of the day, it is not necessary to agree but it is critically important to understand and accept their opinions and feelings as valid for them.
When you write a report or e-mail maybe the same person often gives you feedback about where you can make improvements to something that is seemingly insignificant. People make spontaneous suggestions about the colour of a shirt or blouse that would go better with your jacket. Or you misinterpret information in a discussion as criticism or denial of what you said. Conversation is a dialogue which means every person has a meaning. Listen and understand them as them, not a denial of you. What was their intention? How do you know? Maybe you do not and must ask so you have the right information. Do not react or interpret. Stop, Look and Listen!
Feedback/criticism is a part of life. We need it to function and to communicate. What do we get from it, information, a swollen head or a wounded heart?
Bob and Marianne own SteppingStoneLifeCoaching.