Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You Don't Need A Thick Skin

I wish Phil Haack posted a bit more often, as he always has good things to say. His latest post is called You Don't Need A Thick Skin. His main point is that we usually respond to criticism in one of two ways - either we get defensive, or we ignore it (the titular "thick skin"). Sounds about right!

Phil suggest we need to go a third way, and "embrace" the criticism. If someone says your software sucks, try and put yourself in their shoes. And perhaps you will say, "You are right, that does suck. It's not good enough."

As a leader, I'm sure you relate to this. We've all had difficult staff who we've given constructive criticism too, and either they get aggressive or the criticism slides right off. We long for them to take ownership.

But forget your staff - what about you? Do you always have excuses when you fail (and if you never fail, you are not trying hard enough!) Do you grit your teeth when you are criticised, then forget it all once you walk out the door? When was the last time you said to someone, "You are right, this is not good enough. We will fix this and do better."


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