"For Those Who Are Passionate About Reaching The Younger Generation"

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Seven Ways to Deal With Criticism

Todd Stiles

If you're involved in youth ministry, there's no doubt, at some point in
your journey, you've been nailed to the wall of judgment by the words of a
critic. Like it or not, it's part of the experience. Just as athletes deal
with pain, so we deal with criticism.

Here are seven things you can do next time you find yourself under the
microscope of someone's scrutiny.

1. Pray. Do this first and you'll find it easier to keep your mouth closed
and your heart open.

2. Focus on facts. How? Specify their criticism through repetition. Try and
understand the issue from their point of view by getting them to be as
precise as possible in their complaint.

3. Maintain your composure. Model the behavior you want from them.

4. Listen to it, think through it, learn from it, and admit where you are
Even in the harshest criticism, there is usually a strand of truth.
Apologizing for the 5% that is your error will go a long way in defusing the
other 95%.

5. Turn your critics into coaches. Turn your liabilities into assets by
asking for their help and evaluation, but only in their areas of strength
and expertise.

6. Expect it, classify it, and act on it. When criticism comes, ask
yourself, "Is this distracting me from my main purpose, or will it help me
accomplish it better?"

7. Bring final closure to the issue. Eventually, meet with your critic to
close the door on the issue, not the relationship. Now you can both move on
with little baggage. Let them linger and they can be like blisters -- you
never know they're there till you try and get something done!


Todd Stiles publishes the LeadershipLINK e-letter from which this article was copied. He works with Youth Leader Connection of Ankeny, Iowa, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help revitalize youth ministries through Scripture, structure, and support. For more information on YLC products and services, call 1-877-595-4YLC, or visit their website at www.youthleader.org.


Copyright 2001 by Youth Leader Connection. Used by permission.