When someone criticizes you, what is your first reaction? If you are like most people, your first response is to defend yourself. That’s normal. You usually have your side of the story.
However, one of the quickest and smartest ways to diffuse criticism is to acknowledge the other person’s point of view. If you say “I hear you, I understand your point of view or I see your point,” the other person feels heard. Then they may be willing to listen to your viewpoint.
Even if disagree with what the person’s criticism, there is usually some truth in what they say. Even if they are only a little bit right, you can learn something.
The constructive response is to ask yourself, “What can I learn from this? How can I grow?” This keeps you from being resentful and gives you a positive focus. You can take something thrown against you and use it to propel yourself to the next level of competency and success. In this way, you use the criticism to your advantage.
“He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.” Proverbs 15:32 (NIV)