Sensitivity to criticism can produce better results, suggests columnist

6/20/2012



Listening to people's comments and criticisms can be beneficial when it comes to overall performance, a columnist has suggested.

Lucy Kellaway wrote on ft.com that WPP Group advertising guru Sir Martin Sorrell is a good example of someone who shows that he is wounded by criticism, but rather than being a weakness it can produce positive results.

She said: "If you are CEO, it is your job to take things very personally indeed. It is your job to be hurt by much of what critics say. A thick skin means attacks don't draw blood. It means it is easier to dismiss anything painful. It means complacency is just around the corner."

In her view, someone who is sensitive to other people's remarks will do their best to improve on potential weaknesses. However, despite the advantages of being thin-skinned, Ms Kellaway stressed the importance of having the "constitution of an ox".

The subject of criticism in the workplace was also recently covered by wsj.com's Career Advice column. Among the suggestions given to executives was for them to ask questions about criticism they receive, take the time to listen to what is being said and stay calm no matter what.

Columnist Alina Dizik pointed out that criticism can affect all areas of a person's life, making it all the more important to know how to take it well.














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