Blend with the motion of criticism and turn it into your learning tool.

We all are very familiar with criticism. We hear it almost everyday from clients, bosses or other people that “knows better” . They criticize the work we make, decisions we take or the ideas we have, whatever it’s about a design, development, writing or any other creative field. In the majority of cases, if not all of them, we get whose unpleasant negative feelings while our work is being criticized, we feel a concrete wall growing around us, blood fills our eyes and a steam escapes from our head. Well, maybe not exactly like that, but very close. Am i right?

Criticism — like everything else in the universe, have its own energy, flow and motion and when we are criticized we can definitely feel it. Lets try to understand how we can blend with this energy and not only transform it into a useful feedback, but also make it positive.


To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.

Morihei Ueshiba


Aikido and the Art Of Peace.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art which is translated as the “Way of unifying life energy” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit”. The main goal of Aikido is to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. It’s performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it, which by the way requires very little physical energy.

Way of unifying life energy

After endless days and sleepless nights you finally finished and did a great job, but you being criticized. So, what will you do? Most probably you will become angry and insulted, but the smartest and the most proper thing to do is to perceive the criticism as a form of assistance and turn it to a positive feedback and your learning tool. Defend your self without getting into a fight, without spoiling the relations and finally without loosing the client at all.

You can find benefits from criticism in order to fix mistakes in your present or future work. I can say that changing the attitude toward the criticism is not an easy job and it will take time, but it’s definitely and no doubt achievable.


When an opponent comes forward move in and greet him, if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.

Morihei Ueshiba


Correct perception of criticism

1. Understanding
First of all, try to determine what the purpose of the criticism, because the range of reasons may vary. Lets see two types of criticism:

Not constructive
The envy and the desire to assert themselves at your expense prior, talking about your personal shortcomings, mentioning things not related to the job, getting into personal stuff. In this case just ignore it and forget about it.

Constructive
The real will to help you and give advise to get the best results and optimize you work.

2. Thinking and rethinking the Constructive type
After all t talking are done try to define what is really possible to adopt and implement, and what’s not, due to a various reasons. Usually, these reasons are related to the peculiarities of your personality, ideological, religious, political, and the main reasons (because we still professionals) — aesthetic, moral and technological.

3. Correction and fixing
Now, after you have finished rethinking and have understand what can you do to pull out the optimal result — get to work without a doubt. (All doubts were left in the second step).

4. Prevention of same mistakes in the future
When you’re finished and got a great result, praise, emotional and material satisfaction — remember, write down, draw all the points of the situation and create an algorithm to choose the optimal path.


The Breakdown:

  • There is no such criticism, you could not benefit from.
  • Criticism toward me — my personal reserve for improvement.
  • Criticism — is a form of assistance to overcome mistakes in work.
  • The perception of criticism should not depend on the form in which it’s presented: the main thing that it can help analyze shortcomings.
  • The main tenet of constructive perception of criticism — “everything I did, i can do better”.
  • Any criticism requires time to think, at least, about why it was called, at most — how can you fix what is being criticized.
  • If i am being criticized, it means that they believe in my talent and ability to fix the mistakes.
  • The most valuable criticism is the one — that points on the imperfection of what seems normal.
  • Criticism of the possible negative consequences of my decision — can prevent outages in the future.
  • I am criticized and i can’t feel insulted, i only can understand and except what is said in my address.
  • If i am being criticized i can defend my self and criticism back, i can defend my opinion, the only thing i can’t do is to distort facts just to prove my self.
  • If i have a restrain and calm attitude to criticism, it means i was able to overcome my self — i am strong.
  • Any criticism is useful because at first place it helps to determine what that person think and feel about you.
  • The most favorable impression on people makes such a response to criticism, which contains specific commitments about what will be done to improve the result, with particular reference to the timing and actual capabilities.
  • Taking criticism with open arms and mind means to take responsibility for correcting and fixing the mistakes.
  • Even if the person who criticize is wrong, i should not rush to give him a rebuke: but i will support his attempt and i will help him to point me on the mistakes.

Perhaps today or tomorrow your work will be criticized again, but now you have tools that can make you to understand and to feel much better when it will happen:

  • Understand the type
  • Think what to improve
  • Fix mistakes
  • Stay restrain and calm
  • Remember that criticism is your learning tool
  • Do not feel insulted — listen
  • Benefit from criticism
  • They believe you are talented and professional
  • Understand and learn them

Remember, both sides of discussion have the same rights to defend them selfs and their points of view.

Aikido Image: NeferTiyi

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