Responding to criticism

It's natural to feel defensive when someone criticizes you or your work. But, as soon as you start offering explanations for why you feel your behavior was reasonable, you stop listening. By assuming that the issue at hand is simply a misunderstanding, implicitly you're closing your mind to the possibility that you may have come up short.

Because delivering negative feedback is often intimidating, many people shy away from doing it. So, when someone does, it's especially important to listen. If you believe that the people around you are well-intentioned and offering criticism in the hopes of bettering your relationship, remember that you all want the same thing. While the conversation may be uncomfortable, you should be glad that they're willing to have it instead of giving up on your relationship before you've had a chance to explain your perspective.