Compliments and Criticism
By: Rifka Schonfeld, Director S.O.S (Strategies for Optimum Success)
|Q: Why is it so hard for me to accept criticism? I feel like it will help me grow, but I never want to listen once it is being said. Is there something I can do to change this about myself?
A: Harvard professors Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen argue that we “swim in an ocean of feedback” throughout our lives. As children, we get hundreds of grades each year; as young adults, we hear about our strengths and weaknesses in shidduchim, and we have performance evaluations throughout our personal lives and careers.
In their book, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It’s Off-Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You are not in the Mood), Stone and Heen note that when we give feedback, we notice that the receiver isn’t good at receiving it. Conversely, when we receive feedback, we notice that the giver isn’t good at giving it. They wondered what made feedback so difficult. And, they realized that the key player is not the giver, but the receiver. Therefore, they created a book whose primary purpose is to give you an understanding of why getting feedback is so hard. They also provide readers with some tools to help them recognize, digest, and grow from that any kind of feedback (unwanted and unwarranted included).
You might think that there are multiple ways that things can go wrong with feedback, but Stone and Heen have identified three specific triggers that make hearing and growing from the feedback more difficult:
An acclaimed educator and social skills specialist, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view the web at rifkaschonfeld.com.