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How Do You Handle Criticism? (NSQ Ep. 7)

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How Do You Handle Criticism? (NSQ Ep. 7)

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Also: is it better to send a congratulatory note to someone who deserves it or a condolence note to someone who needs it?

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Relevant References & Research

Question #1: We need critical feedback to improve, so why is it hard to hear?

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Question #2: Which is the more meaningful act — celebrating a friend’s accomplishment, or supporting them through a loss?

  • Angela turns to the work of social psychologist Shelly Gable to teach Stephen how to best support a loved one’s accomplishments. In a 2006 paper, “Will You Be There for Me When Things Go Right? Supportive Responses to Positive Event Disclosures,” Gable and her co-author discuss the importance of active-constructive responses.
  • For resources on how to best support someone during trying times, Angela recommends looking into supportive listening — a relationship-building tool which Stephen initially mocks, but quickly learns to embrace.
  • Before Angela fully explains the concept of supportive listening, Stephen jokes that it seems like a “Saturday Night Live version of grieving.” For an actual Saturday Night Live version of grief, check out this 1976 sketch where Chevy Chase plays a priest who can’t stop hiccuping at a funeral.

Stephen and Angela briefly discuss the idea of “mirroring” — a subconscious reflection of another person’s behavior. To learn more about the science behind mirroring, we recommend checking out this 2016 paper from The Royal Society: “Mirroring and Beyond: Coupled Dynamics as a Generalized Framework for Modelling Social Interactions.”


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