Responding to Criticism

by Barbara Martin

in How to Tips

Seth Godin says snark = quick ‘n dirty and fun ‘n easy while earnest = less shiny, long term better. He’s probably right, he’s a plenty smart guy.

What can we learn, if anything, from either or both kinds of criticism? Sometimes there’s a kernel of truth in the snark, or a hit you over the head with a two by four. Sometimes the earnest just misses the point, or maybe it is studiously correct. Misguided or accurate, vengeful or kindly intended, criticism happens.

Criticism is not easy to take. We need to learn how to be picky about how we respond to it. Here are some tips on dealing with criticism. Nine handy tips from Julia Cameron’s creativity manual The Artist’s Way plus a bonus coping skill: my personal stomp and spit routine. ’cause sometimes, that’s what it takes!

MORE Artist’s Way Posts The Complete Series

{ 4 comments }

Goddess Leonie | GoddessGuidebook.com April 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm

hmmmmmmmm…. muchos interesting Barbara… and thank you for those tips! Faaaabulouso :)

Victoria Brouhard April 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Criticism is so hard to hear. Thanks for those tips.

Although, I must admit, that the stomping and spitting is my favorite step. And often I start and end right there.

I’m working on it though… :-)

Rebecca Leigh | Smart Fresh Writing April 20, 2009 at 4:07 am

This reminds me of a speech I heard at a recent conference on creative entrepreneurship. The Danish speaker referred to an architectural firm from his home country that was pushing the boundaries of design with the concept that ‘yes is more’. http://english.dac.dk/visArtikel.uk.asp?artikelID=4737

A very brief and no doubt inadequate explanation: all criticism from all parties can be embraced openly and incorporated into creative development to allow a very organic (and very unlikely) solution to emerge. It simply dismantles the barriers between your idea and my idea and allows our ideas to form and reform.

Barbara Martin April 20, 2009 at 7:25 am

@Rebecca Thank you for that! This sounds a little bit like the improvisational acting rule of “Yes, and …” applied to group thinking toward a specific goal. It also seems like “design by committee” which can either be synergistic and quite wonderful, or a muddled compromise to beat all compromises. :)

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