Friday, May 30, 2014

Make Your Critics Your Coach



"Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" was the advice from Vito Corleone to his son.  Now, for those of us not in the organized "Family", this advice seems a bit too dark.  He was telling the soon to be Godfather that enemies will always be waiting for you and finding weaknesses to exploit.

But what if he was right?  Are our critics always wrong?  Do they ever have valid and reliable insights for us?  Maybe, just maybe, those who criticize us may have even a little truth in their words?

There is a vast difference between a Mentor and a Coach.  A mentor says, "Watch me and be like me...do what I do, the way i do it and how I do it and why I do it."  We need Mentors

Coaches are different.  Coaches say...well, they don't say much.  They do more asking questions and making observations.  Coaches are not about themselves; they are about their clients.  A truly good coach says, "I see this, what do you think?  How do you want to change?  Tell me how it feels when you succeed...."

Critics pretty much do the same.  Critics say, "I see this about you and here is how it feels to me."  Granted, critics don't really care about you, your success, or how their criticism feels to you.  But critics have a core of truth in their words.

What if you let down your ego and listened to those who criticize?  Not with a view to shift for their liking, but listening to the truth couched in the vitriol.  Listen, if you are so brittle that criticism always hurts, then you probably are not fiding much success anyway.  But if you simply listen for WHAT your critics are telling you and not HOW they are telling you, you might find some really good advice. 

But here's the deal:  Pride will give your critics more ammo, and you less power.

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