top of page

Handling Conflict & Criticism


As your business grows and you become more known, you will have to deal with and face conflict and criticism more and more, warranted or not.

Even aon your best day we can find ourselves on the brunt end of conflict and criticism. It can appear out of nowhere leaving you in doubt, questioning all your best intentions.

How we handle ourselves in the midst of conflict and criticism is very important to your business and our industry. Let’s face it, if this occurs after a hard stressful day we tend to jump into the defensive mode at the first sound of criticism.

How you handle yourself in every situation will determine an outcome that could last for decades.

It will determine whether you are closing a door permanently or leaving the door open for future business. You need to be able to address your critics with grace. (Trust me, It’s much easier to say than do) Being able to understand and accept criticism in the heat of the moment can have a lasting impact on your business and reputation. Being able to control your words and reactions is the most powerful tool you have.

Criticism – Undoubtedly there is always some truth when someone criticizes you and that’s why we as people don’t like it. We all can think of different times someone has been critical and we want to get upset and argue back… But DEEP DOWN – The reason we are upset is because they are saying something that we know is true or partially true. I’ve found that truth is usually found somewhere in the middle not on one extreme side or another.

Before getting upset, ask yourself, is there ANY truth to the complaint? Usually if you take a step back you will agree there is some truth.

With criticism, extract what truth there may be. Acknowledge the other person, hear what they say, Repeat it back to them. And ultimately learn from it, move on and do better. Don’t let criticism derail your entire day or business. Emotions and views can be twisted, so when dealing with criticism, stick to the facts.

Value all people and value constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is given with sincere intentions from people who want you improve your work. Constructive Criticism focuses on the work, topic, or situation NOT the person who did it. Remind yourself not to criticize or complain if you don’t have suggestions to improve the situation.

Conflict happens when there is a departure from the ideal scene. When two people stop agreeing. Your vision and their vision no longer align. Usually this is someone reacting to something you said or did, that reminded them of themselves or their past mistakes. You hit on an emotion that was already there and hadn’t healed. Understand this about them, and you are better equipped to maintain a balanced view, show empathy, and hopefully turn a critic into a fan.

Accept that conflict is necessary for growth.

Think back to a time when you may have been starting out or at a previous company and you decided to move in a different direction, it might have been painful and unpleasant but that is where real growth happened. Letting go of an employee who’s self-appraisal is higher than their actual worth can be uncomfortable but necessary for your company to grow. In many cases, new partnerships and businesses have been formed because of conflict in previous positions. Not being able to deal with, accept and eventually move on from conflict and criticism will affect your success and growth.

You can’t let conflict and criticism paralyze you, you must address it. Sharpening your skills to handle conflict and criticism will help you grow as a leader. Learning how to open discussions and end disagreements that satisfies all parties is a skill you should desire to have as a seasoned professional.

102nd Floor of the World Trade Center in New York City. Benefit Auction Conducted By Jay Cash
PHOTO By Patrick Robinson, Jay Cash, The Auctioneer 102nd Floor of One World Trade Center, NYC

BY: Jay Cash, is the owner of James R. Cash Auctions & Real Estate and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Auctioneer Association as well as an Instructor for Nashville Auction School. EXCERPT FROM NAA AUCTIONEER MAGAZINE

99 views0 comments


bottom of page