“Let me put this bluntly once more for the sake of clarity:
get, on average, a couple of minutes of positive feedback each year,
versus thousands of hours of negative feedback.” —David Rock, Quiet Leadership
The writer shared about losing a new pair of glasses, and how he was so hard on himself for losing them—self-criticism—he calculated that at least 300 times he said to himself, “You’re an idiot.” Then he did some investigating and found that other people do the same thing. Hey, you out there who is reading this, do YOU criticize yourself?
It’s one thing to take note that you need to improve and figure how you can do so. It’s another thing altogether to criticize yourself and not give yourself a chance to win. I teach a class at CoachU.com on acknowledging your positives with truth, respect and constructiveness. I point out that where excellence is expected, it is not acknowledged. This often gets the question, “Why should I tell someone they are dong a great job when they are just doing what they are supposed to do?” It’s because something happens in your brain when someone acknowledges you are doing a good job and they back it up with an example or two. Something happens in your relationships and your performance when you have a sense of respect and support for each other in this way. Something wonderful happens when you can acknowledge the positives that ARE in yourself.
Do you criticize yourself? Stop that. Instead, look at how you can improve and do something to help your self.
Do you get “down” on yourself for not doing things right? Stop that. Instead, look for the things you do right and well. Focus on your strengths.
Do you allow others to criticize you in ways that are not truthful, respectful and constructive? Stop that. We have to teach people how to treat us. How will you politely teach them to treat you better, and if not, how will you choose to move on in your life?
Do you want or need more positive acknowledgement? Sometimes you have to ask for the kind of critique you want. Some personality “types” of people really need to know they are doing the job right, other types will get angry if they sense you are letting them do the job wrong and don’t say something. Ask for what you want, and also for how you want it, e.g. “I would like to have a performance evaluation, and a supportive discussion to strategize on how to improve what I already do well and also how to improve the things I don’t do well.”
Sometimes the truth we receive from others or ourselves is not the truth. Yes, sometimes I do stupid things, but I know in my knower that I am not a stupid man. Sometimes I make errors, but I am not error-prone. Sometimes I am slow to catch-on, but I am pretty smart. What about you?