If you don’t want to have any critics or criticism, step out of leadership, because it comes with the territory. When you sign up to be a leader, you signed up to be in the public eye. Your life, your decisions, Your personality, and even your family stands in the crosshairs of people’s examination and opinions. If we’re not careful, we can allow these examinations, opinions, and often judgements to negatively affect our leadership.
Below I have listed some ways to deal with the praise, the critics, critiques, and attacks in our lives.
Don’t take everything so personal.
Most of the time when someone critiques or criticizes us, it’s simply based on their own preference. It’s just their opinion. It’s simply what they think. Thy are not the be-all-end-all authority on the subject any more than we are. Take every critique with a grain of salt. Someone’s opinion...is just someone’s opinion! Get some thicker skin and don’t take everything so personal!
Seek another opinion.
Don’t listen too much to one person. The Bible says success is found “in many counselors.” When you receive a critique or criticism, find someone you trust and ask them, “Hey, do think there’s any merit or truth in this?” Do you see any of this in me?” “Do you think they have a point?”
Know the difference between a critique and a criticism.
A critique comes from someone you trust. They love you and want the best for you. They can help you see your blind side and blind spots. They can help you get better, by speaking the truth in love to you. You need consistent critique and coaching in our lives! When a friend comes to you to challenge you on something, don’t get defensive, or you will shut down one of your greatest opportunities to get better.
Refuse to make “fear based” decisions.
If you’re not careful, when you are wrestling with your next decision, you can begin to make “fear based” decisions. You begin to process your decisions through the lenses of what people will think, say, or do. This is a slippery slope because all of a sudden, we are not making decisions based on the best course of action, but based on the opinions of a few, and it could be the beginning of the end for our leadership and even our ministry or organization.
Take the high road.
When you’re attacked, the best response, especially early on, is to turn the other cheek. When we react, it actually makes us look defensive and insecure. It’s usually best not to react or even respond to most criticism or attacks. Take the high road. A mentor told me once, “Shawn, when you sling doo-doo, you get more doo-doo on you.” Now that will preach!
Stay focused on the vision.
You have been given a vision for your life, your ministry, or your organization. Get your eyes of people, what they think, or who they might respond, and refocus on the vision. You have a job to do, and you don’t have time to do anything else. You don’t have time or energy to waste on worrying about what everyone thinks. You only have one person to please: the God who gave you the vision in the first place.