criticism, criticism quotes

Whether you are taking criticism or giving it – critiques can be uncomfortable, awkward, and even painful. There are many perspectives on constructive criticism. Here’s a list of several quotes from iconic leaders, athletes, and creatives to help you lead through receiving and giving critiques.

1. It is healthy

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” – Winston Churchill, Iconic British Leader

2. Bold decisions are worth the risk of criticism.

“People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you’ve figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness and confidence. Don’t be shy or feel intimidated by the experience. You may face some unexpected criticism, but be prepared for it with confidence.” – Jack Canfield, Co-author of Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul

3. Remember that we are all human beings, not machines.

“I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. But sometimes criticism can be hurtful. Be respectful. I’m a good piano player, I can sing well, I write good songs. If you don’t like it, fair enough. But give me a break.” – Elton John, Iconic British Recording Artist

4. Constructive criticism can be an act of validation.

“Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.” – Margaret Chase Smith, American Politician

5. Be selective in your criticisms.

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.” – Johannes Kepler, Founder, Laws of Planetary Motion

6. Don’t take every critique personally.

“I don’t shy away from any questions. I’m not scared of any question. I’ll give you an answer. A lot of people are scared of having actual opinions out there. People are so scared of criticism… I’m not scared of people disliking me.” – Ronda Rousey, Former UFC Champion

7. Take a creative workshop to learn more about constructive criticism.

“Read a ton. Take a workshop course so you learn to give and get criticism.” – Jodi Picoult, Best-selling author

8. Accept critiques as a challenge.

“I always take criticism as a challenge. It’s the way I’ve always looked at it.” – Derek Jeter, MBA baseball player

9. Greatness and criticism go hand-in-hand.

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Aristotle, Legendary philosopher

10. Find value.

“If you give value to the good reviews, you have to give value to the criticism.” – Fiona Apple, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter

These tips and others are presented in Performance Maximizing Leadershipa presentation that assists organizations in training greatness-manifesting, transformational leaders.

For information on this and other ENPM, Inc. and Art Jackson presentations and resources, Visit

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Art Jackson, Professional Speaker, Executive Coach

Art Jackson

Art Jackson is a professional speaker and executive coach. He is a recognized expert in the areas of leadership, performance improvement and interpersonal skills.

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