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Why won’t some staff listen to constructive criticism?



Q - One of my team is a good performer and gets plenty of positive feedback, but finds it hard to accept constructive criticism.  I see it as helpful, a way to develop yourself - how can I get them to take the same view?

A - I suspect your team member may be a perfectionist. I would start by finding out what they do with the positive feedback, as the answer may also be ‘nothing’. Perfectionists are typically tough on themselves, and external feedback tends to be ‘dumbed down’, whether it is positive or negative. You need to take things back to basics and help them to take all feedback on board, and to see it all as positive. Make sure constructive criticism focuses on an issue, it should not be personal. Potentially underlying the perfectionism is a confidence issue, so this will need attention on a little and often basis.