There’s nothing like destructive criticism. That doesn’t mean that some criticism isn’t intended to destroy. I always say, It is what you do with the criticism that matters. You can take it and construct something with it. Therefore, at that point, no matter what the intention of the critique is, you have now made that criticism constructive.
Oprah Winfrey has said, at the inflection point of her career when she was doing work that was analogous to Jerry Springer; she read a ruthless criticism of her show by a university professor. Oprah said she usually reads all the criticism; and guess what Oprah did after reading this harsh review? She called the woman and had a meeting with her.
That meeting made Oprah’s show become THE Oprah show that we now know today; a show distinguished from that of Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, even Phil Donahue.
I learnt something powerful from that because I know the point at which our show reached a tipping point. I asked my team to gather all the criticism that they had and we sat down in a meeting where I asked them to go at me. It was a tough day. You know when people you love are criticising you – it was all hit after hit.
But I took all of that together, and I took a month off, and I implemented everything, and the growth was instantaneous.
To take feedback is really tough, but I have learnt that no one will know the people that abused you, all they’ll remember is you, who took the abuse and made it something beautiful.
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