Handling Criticism with Grace

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I was dropping my kids at school and overheard a conversation between a parent and teacher.

The parent was running through a shopping list of needs for her little one and explaining how the teachers had been falling short.

As I listened to the parent, I could feel myself digging in on behalf of the school and the teachers.

…don’t you know how long we’ve been doing this

…do you really thing you know better

…does any of this truly matter

Instead, the teacher listened carefully and let the parent talk herself out completely.

She replied,

Those are good ideas and I want to thank you for your patience with us.

Absolute brilliance!

The reply took the energy out of the situation and the parent was grateful that she was heard.

I took the “thank you for your patience” and have been working with it.

I use it with myself – stay calm be patient.

I use it with my family – I am working to improve, thank you for your patience

And, I use it when people offer correction – those are good ideas and I want to thank you for your patience.