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Every leader faces criticism. Well, if they’re actually leading they do. But how can they respond well, learn what they should, and reject what is unhelpful? When does a leader know when to fight back and exert authority over critics? That’s what we discuss in this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast. Eric Geiger joins Todd and I to talk constructive vs. destructive criticism, the difference between feedback and criticism, and how to respond well in a digital age when everything goes public and trolls abound. We ask the following questions.
- Can a leader avoid criticism?
- How do you balance listening to critics and learning from them vs. tuning them out?
- At what point does criticism stop being constructive and turn divisive within in an organization?
- How do you handle consistent critics within your organization or team?
- How can leaders handle the massive growth in criticism (trolls) because of the social/digital space?
“If you’re doing anything worth doing you’re going to run into criticism.”
“You cannot be a people pleaser and a leader.”
“There’s a difference between serving people and being at the mercy of a plethora of different opinions.”
“It’s really important to take a step back and look whenever you’re criticized and ask ‘what can I learn from this?’”
“Even if it’s painful there still is growing that happens in the midst of criticism.”
“Is the criticism based on objective truth or subjective opinion?”
“You need critics in you’re life if you’re going to grow.”
“Criticism is focused on what happened. Coaching is forward looking.”
“Come to my face and let’s talk about it like grown ups. Be transparent and be a leader.”
“Criticism of decision is one thing. Criticism of character is another. That is a cancer in an organization.”
“Your name, your character, is so critical that if you lose that you lose everything.”
“I’m all about identifying problems, but I for sure want to hear about those from people who want to jump on solving them.”
“We don’t need a bunch of internal consultants who are just going to point out problems. We need people who are going to attack and bring solutions.”
“I want to invite people to not be on the team if they’re just so miserable that they’re constantly critiquing.”
“You are going to painfully reap the results of the culture of criticism you create with your own toxic leadership.”
“The things that you reprimand and celebrate are one of the easiest ways to embed whatever you want in a culture.”
“Suffer not a troll according to his folly.”
“On social media, there are many people you engage where just can’t win.”
“Whatever your response to criticism is in person tends to get amplified on social media.”
“Really put stock in criticism from people who know you, not from people who criticize you online.”
5 Signs It is Time to Give Up with a Critic – Eric Geiger
How to Respond to Criticism – Rainer on Leadership Podcast
How Leader Respond to Written Criticisms – Thom Rainer
The Positive Side of Receiving Criticism – Thom Rainer