Tuesday, May 24th, 2022


“The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.” — Elbert Hubbard

This is one of those “on my mind” posts. Just a warning in case you want to stop reading now based on my title: Criticism.

Here’s the definition:

Criticism: the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.”he received a lot of criticism”

Criticism seems to have exploded since we entered the world of social media. For instance, if you happen to follow someone famous on Twitter and they post something that to me is perfectly non-controversial, many, many people feel it is their duty to criticize, disagree, or argue about a simple statement. Social media, while I do use it, is a harsh and dangerous world.

How about criticism inside your firm? In public accounting, we have always said we are focused on “constructive criticism.” We must give employees constructive criticism so that they will learn and grow in their careers.

I read somewhere, a long time ago, something that I have suggested to many leaders in CPA firms. When a person hears the word “criticism” even if it is used along with “constructive,” they immediately have negative feelings. So, instead of using the word criticism, tell the person who needs guidance that you have some:

  • Constructive remarks
  • Learning points
  • Words of guidance
  • Or something similar, be creative!
  • "Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. "
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

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