Deflect Criticism - Enhance Relationships

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Here are some methods I have found to be effective in deflecting criticism, while enhancing relationships:

Acknowledge the feedback. "Thank you for sharing your opinion. I will give it some thought." If there is something that would improve performance to your standards, then consider it. If not, after evaluation, simply discard the information.

Agree with their right to disagree with what you are doing. Use the sales technique of "feel, felt, found" to get on the same side; "I can see why you might feel that way. Sometimes I have felt (..Frustrated, angry, disappointed etc.) myself, but I found that when I step back from the situation, there is usually a solution that provides a way for both sides to win."

Avoid becoming defensive. Don't argue, simply smile and continue as you were doing. Let the critical words or expressions slide right off your back and on into the ground where Mother Earth can neutralize them or turn them into mulch.

Ask for more information and clarification. "I want to be sure I understand what you are saying. I respect your advice and value you as a person. Did you mean to say............"

Assert yourself. "Why would you want to deliberately hurt me? I want to remain friends, but I won't allow you to treat me that way."

Accept the fact that there may very well be a problem, but don't take it personally. Not everything is about you. The speaker may just be frustrated and taking it out on who ever is present. Don't absorb it as an attack on your worthiness.

Feedback is essential to growth and the development of new ideas. The dialog and communication that comes from sharing opinions and suggestions with respect is invaluable. If you hear something negative from one person it is an opinion, from two or more consider it suggestions but if three different people give you the same message, take another look at your behavior.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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