Like buffaloes walking toward storms to reduce the duration of their exposure, we can best weather criticisms by heading right for them.
Try this. Ask the people who matter in your career (and life) what they think you do well and what you could improve. Thank them for their candor. After gathering their input, select just one thing to work on. Then go back and ask these people who matter for ideas and tips about how you can improve this one thing. Respond simply, “Thank you,” to each suggestion. Put into use the best ideas you hear. Check in again with the people who matter once every 6 weeks or so to ask about your progress and their further insights.
Exposing ourselves to criticism and asking people who matter their opinions about how we might improve feels uncomfortable and vulnerable, yes? In fact, seeking criticism and suggestions like this usually improves people’s opinions of us. Soon, we will have improved and they will know it.
In your corner,
PS: People who matter include peers, clients, bosses, friends, family, and (bonus points if you use them) enemies.