Constructive Criticism

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I have to admit I don’t handle constructive criticism very well. It’s one of those things that back dates to primary school.

Usually people react to criticism by avoiding it, taking it to heart or reacting aggressively to it. Criticism can be helpful if it is specific, acknowledges positives, is calm, to the point, doesn't stereotype or label people and is focused on a person's behaviour rather than an attack on the person.
I tried to google for some tips on how to best handle such situations and this is what I call the good girl answer:
Here are some tips to use criticism assertively:
• Face and listen to criticism rather than avoid it.
• Don't take it to heart.
• React calmly and respect others rights, there is no point attacking the person.
• Be prepared for constructive criticism.
• See constructive criticism as useful to everyone concerned. Being open to constructive criticism can be tough at first. Remember, you too can make constructive criticism. This does not include blaming, put-downs or attempting to hurt someone to get what you want.

I read this a few times but it didn’t inspire confidence within me. I wanted a more cracking solution than the textbook answer.

When someone offers compliments first, and then goes on to point out the errors, likely as not, they are offering constructive criticism with good intentions.
I believe that how to determine if the criticism is right or wrong is never take one person's criticism seriously, but take two or three of the same opinions more seriously. One person can be wrong, two people may be wrong, but if you hear the same criticism from three different people, you may want to pay attention.
However, even in a situation where four people have the same criticism it doesn't necessarily mean they are right. Remember, the film "Titanic" was criticized harshly by several film critics.

Criticism should be viewed like a jury returning from deliberating in a criminal trial. When a criminal is accused of a crime, we don't put it in the hands of three jurors or even six. We put it in the hands of twelve.

However, there is a right and wrong way to criticise. Constructive criticism is given by someone who is honestly pointing out what they believe to be errors in an attempt to help you correct them. Destructive criticism is a blatant put-down with every intention of making you look bad. The key is to recognize the difference.