Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Criticism Is A Wrapped Gift: Focus On The Content Not The Wrapping

A monkey on a tree hurled a coconut at the head of a Sage.
The Sage picked it up, drank the milk, ate the flesh, made a bowl from the shell and continued on his onward journey……

Many a times in work life we get a continuous feed of ‘Criticism’ from people around us which is critical information about us, our working styles, gaps in process and ways to improve them.
The astonishing part is that this information comes as personalized attacks or statements ridiculing the way things were handled by us and the distress or perceived loss it caused.

The immediate reaction is to defend ourselves and our team and push the blame on someone else, in the bargain the information, its essence, its intelligence, its richness is completely lost to us.

Criticism is Critical information about us, our work in a clumsy wrapping.

What we do about it is entirely up to us. We may choose to accept and improvise our gaps, or simply keep it aside.

In either case we need to have the grace to thank the individual who has risked sharing the information with us. The most important aspect is to manage our body language while doing so, and show genuine gratitude to the person who has criticized us. This is easier said than done, because as individuals we have this irreparable urge to be right all the time and when someone points our failings justify it tooth and nail.

It takes a thorough professional (Sage) to use all parts of the Coconut (Criticism) hurled at him and continue his onward journey …….  

Can you aspire to be that Sage? 


  1. Lovely! Dr. Deepak, you have really made the readers feel, in such few words and such a simple fable - how one can learn to use the good from criticism and leave the bad alone... and, yes, move on doing what is best in one's view.

    Loved it... Keep writing sir.

    LOVE, Gerry.

  2. That's a great post Deepak sir. Taking criticism at ones stride is an important skill at workplace. On several occasions, people deliberately poke criticism/negativity on ones work ethic, style, leadership etc. While some are definitely worth noting/improvizing in its essence, while others could on account of hatred/animosity. So its right to be diplomatic and as Gerry sir said, leave the bad criticism alone.

    1. Very well said Mehuil .......Thanks for sharing your ideas



A n elephant chained in its growing years continues to remain in check throughout its adult life for it thinks the chain is unbreakable. ...