October 23, 2023

How to handle criticism

Cartoon of hands gold panning

Steven K Scott wrote that every criticism contains water, sand, and gold.

The water is the ‘noise’ in the criticism – the words that carry the message but don’t say much in and of themselves.

The sand is the bit that stings – the part of the criticism you find virtually impossible not to take personally and it hurts to hear, read, or even consider it.

The gold is the nugget of truth in the criticism – the piece that if you really took it to heart, you would be able to change things for the better.

Panning for the gold can be difficult, but it is worthwhile.

Here’s a thought. The nugget of truth for you might not be the core message that the person was trying to give you, especially if they were criticising you to help them feel good about themselves. Look for YOUR message amongst the sand and water.

And remember, in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

share this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

related posts

How to do more in less time

Personal productivity is more about rhythm than perpetual motion. Working out when you are at your best is important.
Read More

Learning transfer: The difficulty with creating new habits

When we talk about learning transfer our desired outcome is that after employees learn something they will utilise that learning to do their jobs better. ...
Read More
a blue eye drawn with flowers

A trick with your eyes you can use to relax – instantly

Here is a very quick way to relax. It only takes a few moments to change your state using your peripheral vision. Let me explain.
Read More

Using magnets on your team

Do you remember playing around with magnets and iron filings? People in an organisation are like that - lining up and following invisible cultural forces. ...
Read More

search blog

Get your free weekly tip

You agree that we can keep a record of your details, and send you other occasional offers. See our Privacy Policy