How Do You Respond to Criticism?

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. Frank Clark, author

Criticism is frequently presented as something unpleasant, but, in my experience, there can be friendly criticisms, amicably discussed. Some people even find pleasure in criticism. As an author, criticism is part of the equation of excellence. As the saying goes, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” 

Authors are exposed to an inner critic at first, followed by critiques by an editor, critical comments from other authors if they are in a critique group (I highly recommend this), BETA readers (those who read and comment on your book before it’s published), an agent (if you can get one), a publisher (if you get an agent), reviewers, then the world of readers. 

What does all of this have to do with you, a non-writer? Even if writers need to be hard-wired for criticism if they are to succeed, all of us who want to grow must also be open to, and even seeking, critics who nourish our growth without destroying our creativity or self-esteem in the process. 

Affirmation: I accept and welcome gentle criticism.

Coaching questions: How do you respond to criticism? When has criticism helped you grow? How do you approach others with critical comments? 

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