Every professional can find ways to improve how they work. Whether this means handling a particular task more effectively or planning your career better, legal support professionals dedicated to growth can always find a way to do it.
Sometimes, the path to our growth is pointed out to us in uncomfortable ways. Criticism can be difficult to hear, especially when it’s aimed at a skill or task we pride ourselves on doing well. Learning to accept criticism well, however, can help you supercharge your growth and keep you on your chosen path.
Here’s how to improve your reception to criticism:
Separate Yourself From the Message:
When you receive critical feedback, separate yourself in your mind from the feedback and the issue it is addressing. For instance, you might visualize yourself stepping away from the critical feedback, creating a space between you and the comments.
By creating this mental space, you protect your sense of self from any negative content in the message. The resulting sense of objectivity and perspective can help you accept the criticism and fix the problem, instead of struggling with feelings of defensiveness that prevent you from growing.
Another way to improve your acceptance of criticism is to ask questions that help you clarify the nature and source of the criticism. For instance, if you’re told that a certain weekly task is always late, ask questions like “When is the deadline to turn it in?”
If you’re struggling with a particular task, ask for the resources you need to do it well. For example, if your work is late because the person you turn it in to isn’t always in the office when it’s finished, you might ask, “Do you want me to email this to you when you aren’t in the office, or should I leave it on your desk?”
Track Your Own Progress:
When criticism hurts, it’s easy to bury it in our minds and carry on as if we didn’t hear it. Doing so, however, invites identical criticism in the future.
Instead, ask questions until you have a clear understanding of what needs to change and how. Then, track your progress. For instance, if your goal is always to turn in a particular piece of work on time, keep a list of the dates and times you turn in that work. This record can both bolster your sense of success and demonstrate that you are committed to change.
Work With Kent Legal!
At Kent Legal, our recruiters specialize in helping legal support professionals find the job that will help them expand their skills and grow in their careers. For assistance connecting to law firms and legal departments in the greater Toronto area, contact us today.