Monday, June 21, 2010
How to Handle Constructive Criticism In Your Creative Career
Nobody likes negativity.
Whether it's a critical comment about how we look and our ability to do the "Special K Pinch", feedback on a new "experimental" recipe that we may use others' palates to pursue perfection, or a boss who belittles.
That goes without saying.
In fact, wouldn't it be nice if sweet words of endearment and accolades were the only kind that ever graced our ears?
Truth is, that's unlikely to happen. Stop dreaming.
That kind of reverence is usually reserved for eulogies.
But all criticism isn't bad.
And depending upon how you embrace it, it can be a great motivator as well as a savvy sharpening tool to hone your craft.
How will you use it?
In my capacity as an instructor, editor, and creative coach, I often come across artists who "stunt " their growth due to their inability to take "constructive" criticism regarding their work. Don't be one of them.
Here are a few things to consider.
1. It goes with the territory. To quote a popular expression, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen."
2. Entertain the possibility that a professional who has already successfully traveled the path you're pursuing may be more knowledgeable and able to exercise more objectivity about your work.
3. Don't personalize rejection. It's not an affront to your character or a death sentence for your career. Don't react, revise!
4. Keep an open mind. You just might learn something.:-)
5. Don't let your ego get in the way of your excellence!
Inquiring minds wanna' know...how do you handle criticism about your craft?
Image: Simon Howden