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Photo courtesy of Meghan Duthu

Irreconcilable Differences or Constructive Criticism: What you can do

When you’re in a leadership position, sometimes it can be hard to listen to other people within your organization, especially non-executives. This is often because executives have more experience and knowledge in managing teams and projects than non-executives, but many times it involves a little bit of ego. Senior Executives often have a hard time being questioned by people in their organization, and it can be hard to hear the valuable aspects of any criticism.

However, if your employees, co-managers, or other executives are continually questioning your choices, authority, or plans, you might begin to wonder if it’s constructive criticism, or if they are intentionally trying to undermine you. If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself:

  • Have I addressed those questions or concerns?
  • Is there a possible productive outcome to their “criticisms?”
  • Do I address his/her concerns to only get resistance on something else later?
  • Is this person using the group to spread seeds of discontent?
  • Give them a choice: get onboard and be respectful, or leave the team/project/company. Of course, most anyone will react poorly to this ultimatum, but that’s an approach you might have to utilize occasionally.

Written by

Carl is a business psychologist and leadership development expert who focuses on the development of high performance leaders.

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