It’s easy to overthink what other’s might say or think on the other end of a screen during meetings, and this is especially true in a fully remote job. We can’t gauge other peoples body language because we aren’t physically with them and words often get mistranslated.
We tend to be defensive, jump to conclusions and judge a person by whatever they say before asking for clarifications. Heartbeat quickens and our mind begins to race—first in search of an explanation for the assault and then for a retort to rationalize whatever actions are in question.
So, now I’m trying to see criticism as an opportunity to learn. Even if it’s not delivered in the best way or if it’s unfounded. Instead, maybe we should view it in the sense that it gives us a window to understand other people’s perspective.
Perhaps we should give the benefit of the doubt — it’s also difficult to give feedback to another person. So maybe the person giving you feedback is nervous or may not express their thoughts perfectly.
It’s time to start training my crooked mind to not go into fight or flight mode, and I encourage you to do the same! Be optimistic. Be open to stuff you hadn’t thought about earlier, be open to better ideas. And say thanks to the person giving feedback as well. Perhaps, it wasn’t easy for them either.
Listen to understand—not to respond. This is the best way to take positives out of criticisms.