Episode 64

Published on:

13th Jun 2022

Leadership Gold: You Know You're Out Front When [E064]

Leadership Gold: You Know You're Out Front When ...

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How do YOU handle criticism?

How to Hold Up Under Criticism:

1. Know Yourself

2. Change Yourself

3. Accept Yourself

4. Forget Yourself

Application Exercises:

1. What are your deficiencies?

2. How secure are you as a leader?

3. How can you properly process criticism?

Mentoring Moment:

Observe how others handle criticism and share your feedback with them!

Coach Chris Cotton

AutoFix-Auto Shop Coaching

Visit Auto Shop Coaching website HERE.


Email Chris: chris@autofixsos.com


Hey, good morning, everyone. I hope you're crushing life today. And if you're not going to challenge you to get out rise and grind and get. Coach Chris cotton here from auto-fix auto shop coaching, where we work hard to support you in both your auto repair shop success and your personal success. As you get into today's episode.

I know, you know, someone in your network who can benefit from today's topic. Please take time to share it personally with them or share through your social network. If you truly think it's something, those in your circle of influence can benefit. As always, if you have an idea for a show topic, or just want to talk, feel free to get with me, chris@autofixsos.com.

Let's get started with episode 64 leadership gold. I want to ask,how did your application exercises from last week go? Did you actually work on yourself or did you listen to the episode? And I was like, I don't have time for that. Remember, time-blocking is your friend.

Work to improve. Second question is, is, did you try the mentoring moment if you got through the first part of it and did your application exercises, did you actually physically go out and try to help somebody else, in your circle? Your employee, did you try to help mentor them to be a better version of themselves?

If so, or if not, I'd love to hear about how it went. Uh, feel free to drop me an email. Let me know how it's going or give me a call. Okay. So back into the episode, chapter four in leadership, gold is when you get kicked in the rear, you know, you're out. If you're not taking punches, you're not in the fight.

Right. So one of the prices of leadership is criticism. When spectators watch a race or, you know, my background is heavy in football. When people are watching a game in person or on TV, most people watch the quarterbacks, the receivers, the running backs. All the attention's out on the front runners.

I'm a trench guy. I was an offensive lineman; defensive very few people watch the game. There is a lot of criticism from the coaches after the fact that we're getting graded and everything; boy, those guys are watching the game, but people in the stands are not right. so for you that are the front runners in your business, you know, people are paying close.

Attention to you. and when you're out in front and you're ahead of the crowd, everything you do attracts attention, everything you do attracts attention, both good and bad. Okay. so the key point of this is how do you handle criticism? not everybody handles criticism the same way. Some try to ignore it and just like, ah, I'm not gonna read the reviews.

I'm not going to read the posts on the internet. And for celebrities, that may be fine. But for business people, we need to be Listening to our reviews or watching our reviews. If we don't do that if we don't listen to criticism, how can we ever get better? And that's the name of the game, right? Some people try to defend themselves against that, and I've seen some crazy replies to Google my business.

I even criticized a business owner who wasn't auto repair related, And the business owner wanted to fight with me verbally over my reply. And I tried to tell him, I said, look, we need to take this offline. Here's my phone number, give me a call. But he wanted to battle it out.

and it went on for 10 pages. Like I printed it out and it was 10 pages of reply and response. Whenever you reply to things like that. You're not only replying to the person, but you're also doing it so other people can read it. And, oh boy, I'm sure a lot of people got some laughs out of that.

So be prepared to take criticism and grow from it. It's not a battle. People aren't telling you those things to poke you in the chest. Or I don't feel like they are, and I think they're calling those things out to make you better. So take it for what it is you know, move on, you know, others, use a witty remark to put critics in their place, but no matter what, if you're a leader, you will have to deal with criticism.

So you might as well get up to the task and get ready for it. So how do you hold up under critical? Since all leaders have to deal with negativity and criticism, regardless of position or profession, it's important for them to learn to handle it constructively. Aristotle once said criticism is something you can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.

You know, that's all great. I get his point, but you know that isn't an option for anyone who wants to be successful as a leader. So really, if there's some things you want to be able to hold up under criticism, the first one is to know yourself. Okay. if you're automatically going to be criticized, what should you do if you're a leader?

First you need to have a realistic view of yourself. And this will lay a solid foundation for you to successfully handle criticism. and here's why so many times when a leader is being criticized, it's really the leadership position that prompts the negative remarks, not so much the people.

And if you can separate those two, then you're better off. I hope you understand the difference. Okay. Again, it's the position, not the individual leader, so you need to be able to separate the two and, you can do that only when you know yourself again. So if it's criticism directed to the position, don't take it personally.

Let it roll off of you. Um, again, knowing yourself, well, may take some time and effort. Benjamin Franklin once said there are three things, extremely hard steel diamond and to know oneself, but, you know, I would say the effort is worth the reward. Right. one of the things that I think you should know, or like the list of things that you should know, about yourself are the, statements, these are some of the things that'll get you in trouble. But if, you know, if you realize the eye questions and are able to move it forward, then that'll be great. So. I am impatient, and poof, I live that one out. For me personally. Patience is a virtue and I fight with that every day.

As leaders, I am unrealistic about the time tasks take and how difficult most processes are. I don't like giving much time or effort to people's emotional concerns. I overestimate the ability of others. I assume too much. I want to delegate responsibility too quickly. I want options so many that I drive everyone crazy.

I don't care for rules or restrictions. I determined my priorities quickly and expect others to have similar attitudes. I process issues quickly and want to move on. Even when other people aren't ready. so, the things I've found out about myself are not flat flattering, but again, knowing is half the battle, right?

Those weaknesses are a reality. So the question is, what am I, or what are you to do about it? First change yourself. This is a responsibility issue, right? When someone's criticism of me is accurate, I have a responsibility to do something about it. That is part of being a good leader. If I respond correctly to my critics by examining myself and admitting my shortcomings, I set myself up to begin making positive changes in my life.

There's a, an author, his name's Huxley. I think it says you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Emotions. I talked about this the other day, in an online group, I was in about emotions, like how you can't let the emotions get the best of you. Know, your first reaction to criticism.

It isn't good typically. And, and usually, it's, it's hurt, but often. Less than likely anger. But usually after your anger has subsided, you need to try to determine whether the criticism is constructive or destructive. That's the key. Some say constructive criticism is when I criticize you, but destructive criticism is when you criticize me, and that's not true, right?

Like people are either constrict giving us criticism. Here are the questions I want you to ask to determine what kind of criticism it is. Number one who criticized me, adverse criticism from a wise person is, is more to be desired than the enthusiastic approval of a fool. The source often matters.

So you have to think who was that criticized you? Number two, how was the criticism given? You need to try to figure out whether the person was being judgmental or whether that person gave you the benefit of the doubt and spoke with kindness. Number three, why was it given? Was it given out of a personal hurt or for your benefit?

If somebody intended to hurt you? That's one thing: if somebody intends to be helpful or benefit you, then that's all. Hurting people hurt people. Remember that they lash out or criticize to try to make themselves feel better, not help the other person. That's one of the things you have to watch, like every time you're working through that situation with an employee, and you're trying to modify the behavior and they're, they're deflecting, they're giving you all the reasons why they're not the cause of it.

That's the flection. So whether the criticism is legitimate or not, what determines whether you grow from or grow under unwanted words is yours.

So you can only change for the better when you're open to improvement. And for that reason, I want you to think that when I am criticized, I try to maintain the right attitude by one, not being different. To look for the grain of truth, three, making the necessary changes and finally taking the high road, if at all possible, always take the high road.

If you do those things, there's a great chance that you'll learn things about yourself. You'll improve as a leader and preserve your relationships with others. Okay. Again, how to improve yourself. The next part is to accept yourself and that's a maturity issue. Again, I was talking, we had a, we had a great show the other day with, with Carm.

And then I think we were on after the show for another 35 or 40 minutes. You know, I'm almost 50 now and much more mature now than I was a year ago, five years ago, or ten years ago. I suffer from imposter syndrome. If you don't know what that is, it's the fact that things or things may be going so well that you really don't think that you deserve to be there, and for whatever reasons, you don't belong or you're just faking it.

And everybody bulls, you know, whatever, you're the imposter. But I try to be genuine and every time those thoughts creep in, I just, you know, pass them aside. I'm doing my best with what I've got and moving it forward daily. And, uh, here I am. So, I say all that to say this, to be the pest person you can be and the best leader, you need to be yourself, whoever, whatever that is, be your genuine.

That doesn't mean that you're not, not willing to grow and change. It just means that you work to become the best you can be. And that's it. Nothing more, nothing less. There's a psychologist called Carl Rogers who said, uh, the precarious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change being who you really are, is the first step in becoming better than you are.

Think about that first.

Another one is forget yourself. You know, the final step in the process of effectively handling criticism is to stop focusing on yourself. When you're growing up, many of us spend a lot of time worrying about what the world might think of us. You know, now I'm almost 50 and I realized the world didn't care.

And the one, the world wasn't paying much attention. So secure people forget about themselves so they can focus on others. And by doing that, they can face nearly any kind of criticism, even serve the critic. Okay. as leaders, we must always be serious about our responsibilities, but it isn't healthy for us to take ourselves too seriously.

There's a Chinese proverb that says blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, and they shall never cease to be entertained. The other thing that I keep reminding myself is you know, sometimes as I'm having these thoughts, imposter syndrome, thoughts, things like that. I think about, like, gosh, I'm almost 50.

If I double that to a hundred, it will never happen. Like, no, I can't think of any male. on my dad's side of the family, that'll live past 70. None that I know of. There's been a couple that has been in their eighties and nineties on my mother's side. So chances of me doubling up this life are slim to none.

And. what comforts me now is that I still have some great years ahead of me. And the reason why I'm here is to fill out those years, I think back I always get these guys mixed up. Uh, Colonel Sanders, and he didn't hit it big until he was 50. And the same thing with Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A.

I think he was 50 when he finally got Chick-fil-A rolling. So I don't know what the hell I'm going to do next year, but I'm going to be rolling into the next one. I can guarantee you that. So let's talk about the application exercises for this chapter. Number one, what are your deficiencies?

Where do you fall short as a person and as a leader, if you can't answer that question, then you don't really know yourself. If I were to ask if we were in a coaching session and I said, what are your two best qualities of the laser and what are your. To best deficiencies. If you can't tell me any of that, we have a long way to go.

So if you don't, how will you be able to accept what you cannot change or change what you must to be a better leader? Ask five trustworthy people who know you, where you come up short, but be prepared to be big about the feedback you get. Once you get that, then decide what you need to change and what you need to accept.

Okay. Number two, how secure are usually. Again, earlier, we talked about insecurity and defensiveness are two characteristics. And for me personally, I've, I've seen that prevent many leaders from reaching their potential. When others criticize you is your first reaction to dismiss what said defend yourself or fight back.

If that's the case, your response may hold you back as a leader. I want you to think about it, and I want you to practice quietness the next time you're criticized. Don't automatically jump back. Don't automatically defend yourself. I want you to listen, take in everything that's said and tell the person that you'll think about the criticism and then take some time to process it on your own.

We often jump into situations that get us into more trouble. I want you to make sure that you're not doing that. Number three. How can you properly process criticism? I want you to use the three questions from the chapter that we talked about earlier to determine whether some criticism can be helpful to you.

One who criticized me too, how was the criticism given and three, why wasn't given and as you ask these questions, start out by giving the critic the benefit of the doubt so that you can be as objective as possible. If the criticism is well founded, consider how you can make changes to improve.

Again, listen. And finally, here's your, here's your mentoring moment. I want you to work on yourselves, but I also want you to work on those around you, everybody that's in your sphere of influence. I keep using that term. But your mentoring moment is to observe how the people you're mentoring handle criticism, not just from you or others who are above them in the leadership hierarchy, but from those who work with them and for.

How do those people respond? Are they open to improvement and change when it's not their own idea? Are they gracious when receiving negative feedback? Do they put the team ahead of their own egos? And when they know that the vision is right, do they treat their critics graciously and take the high road with them again, listen to everything that's going around you.

And then I want you to share your observations with them and give them concrete suggestions for improvement. It's one thing to recognize it in those around you, but you got to follow up and move them forward on their path to enlightenment, so to speak.


Time to get out and rise and grind. Have a great day.

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Weekly inspiration from automotive service business coach Chris Cotton from AutoFix - Auto Shop Coaching. www.autoshopcoaching.com Run Your Shop. Don't Let It Run You.