Sometimes the universe conspires to force your thinking both deeply and broadly about a topic. A few months ago the conspiracy centered on managing criticism. I’ve found the phrase controversy with civility, from the social change model of leadership development, lingering in my language ever since.
The same week I was meeting with staff to prepare for our Starbucks Book Club sessions focused on embracing resistance I was met with a public, social media based challenge to the integrity and value of one of our programs.
It was a leadership lesson in the making. The serendipity of the timing of the public challenge with the Starbucks book club gave me the necessary words to contemplate before responding:
Don’t mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified, it is not criticism – learn from it.
All controlled responses. Learn, move on.
How we experience our emotions internally sometimes has to be different than how we express them publicly. In the face of criticism ideally we must, at least, be civil publicly. Life is full of choices and you can make any choice you desire. Once your choice is made however you do not have a choice about consequences. Managing controversy without civility can certainly provide you with some undesirable consequences. Pause and choose wisely.
How do you manage your choices in the face of challenges?
Make it a good day.