Every leader I know deals with criticism. I think it’s been well said that the only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, and no leader worth his or her salt can do that. How do you handle it when critical words come your way?
I once heard a pastor named Craig Groeschel teach about this. He said that when critical words come, he asks three questions:
1) Is what this person is saying biblical? In other words, does it line up with the teaching of Scripture, or is just their opinion based on their preferences? If it does line up with Scripture, then move on to question 2.
2) Does this person have the organization’s best interests in mind when they say this? If they do, then move on to question 3.
3) Are these words coming because of love for me? Do they have my best interests in mind, and do they love me too much to keep quiet about this?
If the answer to any of those questions is no, then I can accept it as their opinion, as one data point, and move on.
If the answer to all three of those is yes, then I have to listen – take it to heart – and ask myself the hard questions as a leader.
Criticism is never easy to hear, and it’s never fun to receive, but it can be helpful and beneficial. But only allow it to make it through to your heart if it passes the three question test above.
How do you deal with criticism in your leadership?