Business Today

Take it on the Chin

Dealing with criticism is an important life skill.
Team BT   New Delhi     Print Edition: April 22, 2018
Take it on the Chin

It's difficult not to feel outraged, incredulous and misunderstood when someone throws some criticism your way. How you take it speaks a lot about you. Getting rattled, and upsetting your peace of mind, will leave you unhappy and possibly earn you more criticism. The other way is to take it in your stride and come out better.

Criticism or feedback rarely comes out of the blue. The other person - the boss, colleague or friend - usually has to choose the moment and weigh his or her words. That gives the potential recipient enough time to see it coming. Since the first reaction for almost anyone is likely to be an emotional one, kick in with a pause. This is an opportunity to mentally distance oneself and see the feedback impassively. If that other person is genuinely in a position to perceive your behaviour or performance in an objective way, it's an opportunity to pay attention and assess how much truth there is in the feedback. Thank the person for taking the time and trouble to tell you.

Almost all experts recommend this - no matter what is said, take it graciously with a 'thank you'.

If you succeed so far and are able to stay cool and focussed on the message, rather than the person, ask to break down the feedback by getting into examples and suggestions on improvement. Find out how you could have handled something better. At this point, whoever you're dealing with is probably not having an easy time either. It's so much easier to throw criticism someone's way than to do the hard work of thinking of a better way of doing something. If able to do this, it shows the person's calibre. Take the feedback and work with the suggestions.

If you're stuck with someone who is railing against you out of nastiness or the person's own insecurity and inability to get along, or if it is a case of 'need to control others to feel better about oneself', say a gracious thank you anyway. That would be enough to thoroughly disarm the person.

Safe Voyage

don't let thieves spoil your travel Even The world's most beautiful and civilised travel destinations are not free of light-fingered thieves waiting to snare unwary tourists. A little caution will ensure you don't end up falling in their trap.

The one thing you need to take care of the most is your passport and other travel documents you can't afford to lose. Thieves are known to use these craftily for a bit of quick blackmail, returning them only on payment. Don't just take scans and upload them somewhere safe online, but avoid taking them out of your hotel room unless absolutely necessary. Even there, putting them in a safe or locked bag is ideal.

As for keeping cameras and other valuables safe, stay in physical contact with your bag and use a smart lock if you can. Be mindful when someone jostles you, pretends to drop a jacket or creates a distracting event. That is the perfect backdrop to make off with your wallet. And by the time you realise, it would have been too late.


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