How to deal with criticism in the workplace

How to deal with criticism in the workplaceHave you ever had a problem dealing with criticism in the workplace, dear reader?

If you have, you’re not alone.

Most of us can be a little sensitive when we’re criticised by other people, particularly in the workplace. That’s natural and I struggle with it just as much as the next person.

However, over the years I’ve learned that criticism comes in two types, as follows:-

  1. Constructive criticism; and
  2. Destructive criticism

What’s the difference?

People who offer constructive criticism are genuinely trying to help, even if that isn’t immediately obvious.

However just because they’re trying to help doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right in what they’re saying. I’ll get back to that point shortly.

When you’re being subjected to destructive criticism then someone is just having a go at you.

That may be to bolster their own ego or they may not like you very much and so can’t resist the temptation to belittle you or just generally make you feel uncomfortable.

Remember there are people who get off on other peoples’ discomfort and having a go a people. These are the haters and the trolls. They exist in the workplace, as well as on social media.

How to deal with constructive criticism:

When you’re on the receiving end of criticism, don’t take any of it personally. Remember you’re bigger than that.

Just remain calm; listen to what’s being said; consider the person saying it; and of course the rationale behind their comment.

As you absorb what has been said to you, ask yourself this question “Is this person being constructive or destructive?

If you feel they’re being constructive in offering their comment then the next question to ask yourself is, “Do they have a fair point?

In answering that question you must be really honest with yourself.

Remember it’s a sign of maturity when you can acknowledge your own inexperience and mistakes.

And you can’t learn from your mistakes unless you recognise them first.

So if after careful reflection you feel that they do have a fair point then take it on-board and use it as a learning opportunity.

At this point thank your critic for the feedback and decide how you might use it to improve and be better at what you do.

You might even ask your critic for suggestions if you think they can help you.

Even constructive critics are not always right:

Not every self-appointed critic has a universal monopoly on knowhow and common sense, however well-intentioned they may be. Even so-called experts get stuff wrong occasionally.

So in reflecting on any constructive criticism offered, your conclusion might be that they don’t have a fair point. And as long as you’re being really honest with yourself, it’s perfectly reasonable to say, “You know what? I think they’re wrong.

If that’s the case then be polite, thank them for their feedback and agree to disagree if necessary.

Accept that they offered their comment in good faith and their intentions were honourable but just move on, without any sense of feeling hurt just because someone had the temerity to question your approach.

They’re entitled to their opinion but you don’t have to accept it.

How to deal with destructive criticism:

If someone is attempting to be destructive in their criticism then don’t rise to the bait. Just smile politely and move on.

Do not give anyone the satisfaction of a reaction or signs that they’ve got to you. That’s the oxygen on which they feed. It’s the dopamine hit which they crave.

You’re better than that so don’t allow yourself to get drawn into their game. They’re unworthy of a reaction or any of your emotional energy.

And never allow such people to chip away at your self-esteem.

That’s what they’re trying to do, so know that and as you’re smiling just say to yourself, “I’m better than you and your attempt to have a go at me won’t get you anywhere. So stop wasting your time and mine.

Conclusion:

Recognise that criticism has two forms. Either way never take any of it personally, even if you suspect your critic is being personal.

If your critic is being constructive, then be honest with yourself and question whether your critic has a point. If they do have a point then you must learn from it.

If your critic is being destructive then do not give then the satisfaction of a reaction. Just smile and move on.

And if you’re not sure whether they’re being constructive or destructive? Give them the benefit of the doubt, assume they’re being constructive and act accordingly.

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Why passion is the key to success

Why passion is the key to success

Have you ever wondered why passion is the key to success, dear reader?

If success is your aim then received wisdom suggests that you should find your passion. You’ve heard that before I’m sure. However the phrase is now spoken so often that it’s has become a bit of a cliché, don’t you think?

And of course, once something becomes a cliché then it’s hard to take it seriously, wouldn’t you agree?

Then again, just because something has become a cliché doesn’t in itself mean that it lacks an underlying truth.

From experience I can tell you that if you really want to succeed at anything then whatever it is must matter to you. And I’m not talking about mattering just a little bit. I mean it really, really, really must matter to you. It must be as important to you as the air that you breathe.

You can call it a ‘passion’; you can call it something with which you have ‘a sense of connection’; or you can call it your ‘Why’. Whatever you call it, you’ll only have the determination to see it through as far as it goes if it actually matters to you.

How lucky are those people who find something in life that matters so much that it drives them to make their mark? To be recognised for making a significant contribution to their chosen pursuit.

That pursuit could be painting or writing or playing a musical instrument. It may be computers or fast cars. It may be starting a business and making serious money. Whatever it is, it’s that special something which for those people is not only interesting and absorbing but rewarding too.

It becomes so important to them that it would be their hobby if they couldn’t make a living at it. Because they love it so much, it’s not really working at all, for them it’s a pleasure.

It’s something for which they have a sense of enthusiasm or ‘passion’ and instinctively they recognise that it’s what they’re good at. And of course, because they love it, they practise and keep practising. And because they practise they hone their skills and they get even better at it. This creates a virtuous circle.

Constant practise will help you excel and reach the very top of your game.

Sadly for most people, that special something is something they never find.

However, if you’ve yet to find that special something, you must never stop looking. One day you might just stumble upon it and it’s never too late for you to become the person you really could be.

That’s why passion is the key to success.

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15 Quotes by Jay Leno

Quotes by Jay LenoFunnyman Jay Leno is one of American television’s biggest personalities and he is recognised as a major star around the world.

Born James Douglas Muir Leno in New Rochelle, New York, he’s a comedian, actor, writer and producer, as well as a television host best known for his years hosting The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 1992–2009.

Quick with a joke or a funny quip he always made me smile. So today I thought I’d explore some of his wit and wisdom.

And let’s face it wisdom is always at the heart of every witty quote.

So here are 15 quotes by Jay Leno to brighten your day.

Quotes by Jay Leno:

  1. Politics is just show business for ugly people. ~Jay Leno
  2. You’re not famous until my mother has heard of you. ~Jay Leno
  3. You can’t stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh. ~Jay Leno
  4. Here’s something to think about: How come you never see a headline like ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’? ~Jay Leno
  5. I think high self-esteem is overrated. A little low self-esteem is actually quite good. Maybe you’re not the best, so you should work a little harder. ~Jay Leno
  6. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that 9 out of 10 doctors agree that 1 out of 10 doctors is an idiot. ~Jay Leno
  7. People don’t mind if you have a lot of money if they know you’re working for it. ~Jay Leno
  8. New Year’s Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot, unless of course, those tests come back positive. ~Jay Leno
  9. If I have one advantage, it’s that I will try to work harder than the next guy. ~Jay Leno
  10. The best way to ruin a comedy is to throw a lot of money at it. ~Jay Leno
  11. In America, we like everyone to know about the good work we’re doing anonymously. ~Jay Leno
  12. If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno
  13. For the first time ever, overweight people outnumber average people in America. Doesn’t that make overweight the average then? Last month you were fat, now you’re average – hey, let’s get a pizza! ~Jay Leno
  14. Magic Johnson, former basketball player, may run for mayor of L.A. in the next election. Remember the good ‘ol days when only qualified people ran for office like actors and professional wrestlers. ~Jay Leno
  15. Nineteen per cent of doctors say that they’d be able to give their patients a lethal injection. But they also went on to say that the patient would have to be really, really behind on payments. ~Jay Leno

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Daily Habits of Successful People

Habits of successful peopleIf success is your aim, can you learn from the daily habits of successful people?

Certainly, I believe that we are what we do on a daily basis.

Anything you achieve or don’t achieve, is brought about by the habits you develop over time.

Everything you do is as a result of our habits, good or bad. So surely it makes sense to develop and maintain good habits and make them your master?

Habits, good or bad, are formed through repetition.

Good habits can be hard to form but they are easy to live with. Whereas bad habits whilst easy to form they tend to be very hard to live with. Our lives can become a battle of good habits versus bad habits. Don’t let the bad habits win.

Good habits can be learned and bad habits can be replaced by good habits. Yes, it requires self-discipline on your part dear reader but it can be done and people do.

Decide on the habits you want to develop and focus on achieving them one at a time.

Start with one good habit you’d like to form and then force yourself to repeat the necessary actions daily.

After around three weeks that habit will be formed and it will just become part of your routine. You’ll start to repeat it with little or no thought. Essentially you’ll do it on autopilot.

If you have a bad habit you wish to replace with a good habit then each time you find yourself about to perform the actions of the bad habit, stop yourself and perform the actions of the good habit instead. Again after around three weeks, the good habit will be programmed into your brain.

Successful people are driven to develop good habits. Self-discipline is the key ingredient for good habits to form and for the replacing of bad habits.

Successful people also establish the habit of goal setting on a daily basis.

You cannot hit a target unless you can see that target. Setting a goal is the first step in achieving that goal. Successful people are results-oriented.

Successful people are also people-oriented.

You get what you want in life by helping other people get what they want.

Every product is a solution to a problem. Even if your goal is to sing or dance, to succeed you must always recognise that you perform to and for people.

They have a need to be entertained and your aim is to fulfil that need. To solve this particular problem for them if you like.

In dealing with people you must be honest and show integrity if you are to win the respect of others.

So honesty is a good habit to develop. Dishonesty and cheating will catch up with you and will be a permanent stain on your reputation. You don’t need that now, do you?

And above all, you must look after your health. You have one body and one mind and they must last you a lifetime.

So develop the habit of taking good care of both.

To reinforce the message of the importance of repetition and routine I‘ve included this excellent video from Brian Tracy.

Brian is always a source of great advice for anyone seeking success and aiming to create a successful life for themselves and certainly he’s one of my main sources of constant inspiration.

The video is short but well worth your time and I recommend you watch it now.

Habits of successful people:

Further Reading:

Regular readers will know that I am keen on building a personal reference library of books and audiobooks which I use to inspire and motivate me and to help me achieve my goals. And I would encourage you to do the same dear reader.

In the video, Brian Tracy refers to his book Million Dollar Habits: Proven Power Practices to Double and Triple Your Income. This is an excellent book and would be a good addition to your library. You can take a look at the print and Kindle editions if you click on the link in this paragraph.

However, I must be honest and tell you that actually I decided to purchase Million Dollar Habits: Proven Power Practices to Double and Triple Your Income (AudioBook). Personally I find the audiobooks really useful because I can listen to them whilst I’m driving which means I’m making better use of what would otherwise be dead time. If you’d like to take a look at the audio version of the book then, once again, just click on the link in this paragraph.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and you then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. There will be NO additional charge to you in making that purchase. However these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure that this resource can remain available free of charge to readers everywhere. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

If you’re looking for useful articles on this subject that are free to read then you might want to take a look at The Habits of Highly Successful People that has been published on the Porch website. This is an interesting article and worth a few minutes of your time.

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21 thought-provoking quotes about losing a loved one

When you lose a loved one, it’s one of the toughest things to deal with in life.

Suddenly you have someone so dear wrenched from your life and you know you will never see or speak to them again. It’s very hard.

What you’d give to sit with them one more time and tell them how much they meant to you.

If only you could have a laugh with them once again and share a drink or a meal.

How you’d love to talk with them about happy times and the absurd things in life that drive you nuts. To share your troubles with that special person who was always there with a supportive ear.

If you’ve yet to lose a loved one you cannot appreciate how it feels.

However readers who’ve experienced such loss will know exactly what I mean.

And one day, every reader will know how it feels. For loss touches us all at some point in our lives.

Here are 21 thought-provoking quotes about losing a loved one to help you reflect on life’s greatest challenge.

If you’ve lost a loved one then remember this; if you close your eyes and think of them then they’ll always be there in your mind’s eye.

Their physical presence may not be with you anymore but their spirit will live on and their memory will be forever in your heart.

For as long as you remember them they can never be truly gone.

Quotes about losing a loved one:

  1. A man is not dead while his name is still spoken. ~Terry Pratchett
  2. Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream. ~Euripides
  3. Death is never easy when you know the people doing the dying. ~Oliver North
  4. If you have ever lost a loved one, then you know exactly how it feels. And if you have not, then you cannot possibly imagine it. ~Lemony Snicket
  5. Say not in grief he is no more, but live in thankfulness that he was. ~Hebrew Proverb
  6. Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life. ~Anne Roiphe
  7. My feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping but I shall go on living. ~Pablo Neruda
  8. Lucky is the spouse who dies first, who never has to know what survivors endure. ~Sue Grafton
  9. You don’t know how easy death is. It’s like a door. A person simply walks through it, and she’s lost to you forever. ~Eloisa James
  10. It takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, and a day to love them, but it takes an entire lifetime to forget them. ~Author Unknown
  11. The song has ended but the melody lingers on. ~Irving Berlin
  12. If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I’d walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again. ~Author Unknown
  13. But she wasn’t around, and that’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going in to every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone. ~Mitch Albom
  14. Losing people you love affects you. It is buried inside of you and becomes this big, deep hole of ache. It doesn’t magically go away, even when you stop officially mourning. ~Carrie Jones
  15. The weird, weird thing about devastating loss is that life actually goes on. When you’re faced with a tragedy, a loss so huge that you have no idea how you can live through it, somehow, the world keeps turning, the seconds keep ticking. ~James Patterson
  16. We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world; the company of those who have known suffering. ~Helen Keller
  17. It is the capacity to feel consuming grief and pain and despair that also allows me to embrace love and joy and beauty with my whole heart. I must let it all in. ~Anna White
  18. The few certainties in our existence are pain, death, and bereavement. ~Jane Wilson-Howarth
  19. I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me but I find I am grateful for having loved them. The gratitude has finally conquered the loss. ~Rita Mae Brown
  20. We can endure much more than we think we can; all human experience testifies to that. All we need to do is learn not to be afraid of pain. Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don’t deny it, don’t be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever. One day, the pain will be gone and you will still be there. ~Harold Kushner
  21. I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought, and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. ~Leo Buscaglia

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15 Quotes by Marcus Aurelius

Quotes by Marcus AureliusMarcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor who ruled jointly with Lucius Verus and then later with his son, Commodus. He was the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors.

Marcus Aurelius was a practitioner of Stoicism and his untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations, is regarded as a significant source of our modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy.

It is considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy.

Here are 15 quotes by Marcus Aurelius which will provide some insight into his own personal philosophy.

Quotes by Marcus Aurelius:

  1. Each day provides its own gifts. ~Marcus Aurelius
  2. Our life is what our thoughts make it. ~Marcus Aurelius
  3. A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions. ~Marcus Aurelius
  4. The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing. ~Marcus Aurelius
  5. Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. ~Marcus Aurelius 
  6. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. ~Marcus Aurelius
  7. When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~Marcus Aurelius
  8. It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. ~Marcus Aurelius
  9. Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. ~Marcus Aurelius
  10. Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart. ~Marcus Aurelius
  11. You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. ~Marcus Aurelius
  12. That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees. ~Marcus Aurelius
  13. The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. ~Marcus Aurelius
  14. He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe. ~Marcus Aurelius
  15. The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away. ~Marcus Aurelius

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The Guy in the Glass

The Guy in the GlassIf you’re unfamiliar with the poem, The Guy in the Glass dear reader, then I recommend you spend a few moments to consider it now.

I’m sure you’ll know that life’s not a rehearsal. Whether we like it or not, we’ll live it only once.

So it seems obvious to me that we must make the most of our time and try to enjoy every moment. That’s a healthy personal philosophy by which certainly I try to live, most of the time, at least.

Literally enjoying every single moment is not possible of course.

There will always be good times but, inevitably, there will be bad times too.

Let’s face it, you couldn’t appreciate the good times without experiencing a few bad times along the way, could you?

Now, I am a firm believer in the notion that you only get out of life what you put in.

If you just drift along, with little effort and a lot of unwise choices then your future is likely to be unexciting at best, unless you get very, very lucky.

Whereas making some effort to realise your full potential; deciding what you want and pursuing your dreams with hard work and determination; this approach is more likely to lead to better life experiences.

Ask yourself this question, “When I’m old and frail and reflecting on years gone by, how will I feel if I’ve wasted those years?

The problem with time is that once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t get it back. So, surely time is our most precious resource?

The answer to the above questions matter only to you.

You’re the one who must look at yourself in the mirror each day. You’re the one who must look yourself in the eye.

You may fool other people with tales of what might have been but you can’t fool yourself.

Deep down you’ll know whether you tried or not. You’ll know whether you made a lot of choices you wish you hadn’t made. You’ll know whether you cheated yourself. And let’s face it, regret lies at the heart of cheating yourself.

So my advice would be, don’t do it.

When you look in the mirror each day, ask yourself some searching questions:-

  • Are you making the most of your natural talent, whatever that might be?
  • Are you looking after your body and your mind?
  • Are you developing habits which will be detrimental to your wellbeing?
  • Are you looking after those who matter most to you?
  • Can you reflect on your life so far with at least some degree of pride and satisfaction?

If you’re getting too many negative answers, then perhaps it’s time for some changes in your life, don’t you think?

Reflecting on today’s idea is what got me thinking about the poem The Guy in the Glass, mentioned above.

This poem is included as part of the process Alcoholics Anonymous use to help their client base.

However, I think it’s relevant to us all, regardless of whether we’re alcoholics or not. The underlying message is that your behaviour should be consistent with the need we all have to be able to look ourselves in the eye.

It really is a thought-provoking verse and, despite its title, the message applies equally to men and women. The glass is, of course, the mirror on your wall. The poem was written by the late Dale Wimbrow in 1934 for publication in The American Magazine:-

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George Carlin’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Top 10 Rules for SuccessIf success is your aim then look for successful people and copy what they do. If it worked for them then there’s a good chance it could work for you. This is a firmly held belief and I refer to it frequently in my writing.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to come up with a game plan all of your own. There are plenty of good role models out there. Just look and listen to the good and the bad; the reverent and the irreverent. And don’t forget role models can serve as a warning as well as exemplars of how something should be done. So look around and take it all in.

George Carlin would definitely be someone who would be considered irreverent by those familiar with his work. He’s also very successful in his field. So if you’re looking for inspiration then listening to George Carlin could be a good start. He will probably make you smile if nothing else. In this video, George highlights his Top 10 Rules For Success and certainly I found them inspirational.

This is an excellent series and this episode featuring George Carlin is well worth a listen. I don’t necessarily agree with everything George says but he’s irreverent and he challenges your thinking and that for me is a good thing.

So I recommend this YouTube video to you. Listen and it’ll be time well spent I think. George Carlin offers some great ideas here.

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5 powerful quotes to propel you down the road to success

Looking for some powerful quotes, dear reader?

You won’t be alone if you are. We all need a little inspiration to fire a spark within us occasionally, The question is, where to start?

Quotes from successful people are always a good place to start, I think.

It’s always worth listening to people who’ve achieved real success.

If they’ve done it successfully, whatever it is, then we can always copy their approach.

And if we copy their approach then there’s a good chance we can achieve success too. If it worked for them, it might just work for us.

So here are 5 powerful quotes from some very successful people. I hope they provide a spark to propel you down the road to success.

Powerful quotes:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. ~Steve Jobs

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. ~Swami Vivekananda

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. ~Jim Rohn

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. ~Steve Jobs

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Valuing people must take precedence in the modern age

Valuing PeopleOne thing you’ll learn as you get older is the importance of valuing people.

We all can get so carried away with our work and careers and we can forget what really matters most.

Now I’m sure that your work is important to you and perhaps you even believe that you’re indispensable to your employer?

If you really believe that then, all I can say is, dream on.

From experience I can tell you that there’s no such thing as indispensable when it comes to being employed.

If you were to die tomorrow then your employer would replace you in a matter of days and the company would carry on without you. You won’t be missed for long and in all probability you’d be forgotten fairly quickly.

That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your life has balance.

Yes, of course, you need to work, to earn an income to put a roof over your head and bread on the table. So in that sense, work’s important. However, it shouldn’t be everything to you. Some things are much more important.

Don’t let time slip through your fingers without having spent some of it on a regular basis with those that really matter to you; the people closest to your heart. That is, your loved ones.

Your employer may not miss you for very long, should you pass away, but the family and friends you leave behind would feel a sense of loss for the rest of their lives.

Work gives us a sense of purpose and a sense of identity too, but only people really matter. So valuing people must always take precedence over work and material things.

So make sure you enjoy some time with those that matter to you before it’s too late.

And, you never know, it could be later than you think.

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