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Handling Criticism

| November 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

The feedback we receive about our job performance as Sales Representatives comes under a variety of headings: Yearly Performance Evaluation, Merit Performance Review, Performance Appraisal, or Performance Assessment.  Different companies use different terminology for feedback given on job performance.

No matter how an employer labels it, to us it is still criticism about how we are doing our jobs.  There is no question as to if we will get criticized – we cannot avoid it. It is how we respond to the criticism that is most important.lebron james and criticism
Denny Crum’s University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Team won the 1986 NCAA College Basketball Championship.  It was one of two championships Crum won as the Cardinals’ coach.  In media interviews that year, Crum spoke about his approach to coaching with one of the team’s best players, point guard Milt Wagner.

Crum confessed he never hesitated to verbally criticize Wagner for making a mistake. The coach would loudly criticize, and even angrily get face to face with Wagner during time outs to make a point.  This approach never seemed to upset or rattle Wagner.  He listened to the coach, made corrections, and played his best basketball of the year during “March Madness”.

Hopefully you do not encounter a Sales Manager that uses the approach Denny Crum had with Milt Wagner, but the lesson is how Wagner responded to Crum.

  • Do not take criticism as a personal attack.  
  • Do not develop a defensive attitude.  
  • Receive it as being constructive, and view it as an opportunity for growth, refining job skills, and improving job performance.  
  • Analyze the criticism and develop a plan to focus on areas that need improvement.  
  • Ask for at least quarterly feedback as to the effectiveness of your plan.

Do not deny or ignore the criticism that comes from performance evaluations.   It may bruise our egos, but it is an opportunity to keep us focused on reaching towards excellence, and the rewards that come with success.

POWER AFFIRMATION:  The criticism I am receiving is an opportunity for me to grow and improve.

- Kevin Mitchell


Kevin Mitchell is an entrepreneur and sports blogger with 25 years of major corporation, business to business sales experience. Kevin can be reached at

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Category: Basketball

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