How to handle negative criticism!


Don’t give up yourself because someone tells you they don’t like your dress.

Been on the receiving end of some unhelpful, unkind or unspecific feedback?

Sucks doesn’t it?

More than that, the above variety of critique doesn’t actually help you grow. That’s why I run all comment through my Magic Feedback Filter (MFF) which is made of cardboard and covered in a gag-worthy amount of pink glitter!

My MFF was designed and built by 30 enthusiastic six years old back when I was teaching. It was to help them give constructive feedback to each other when peer marking. Also, budgets were (and still are) tight and I made the mistake of leaving an entire year’s worth of glitter on the sticky table.

An MFF can work for you too. Putting yourself out there is equivalent to sticking your head above the pit and invites anyone and everyone to share their thoughts. Not all of them deserve your energy!

The comments I get on social media, especially in response to my talks or live and virtual events, are overwhelmingly positive. People share the changes they have implemented or things they’ve taken away that have made a significant difference in their lives and relationships at home and work. It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of this, and I marvel every day at being a small part of their journey.

To counter that here are some of the top (often anonymous) and private messages.

Your accent is…

  • Too common
  • False
  • Too white – I’m always surprised but delighted to hear my Nottingham accent is the gold standard for British English!

or the ultimate insult…

  • Too Northern/Southern – I’m from the Midlands which I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to explain is an actual place. Please do Google it!

You come across as:

  • Too working class: Thank you? I navigated huge poverty, neglect spending times homeless and in foster care growing up. Also, I was recently invited to speak at the House of Lords on social mobility – I’m not sure if that is evidence for or against being too working class!
  • Too posh – The exact phrase was ‘You’re very Mary poppins-esque”! Which I decided to take as as a compliment! which is hard to take as a bad thing.
  • Too ethnic – I’m not sure how to come across as less ethnic and even if I knew how to – I wouldn’t bother!
  • Too enthusiastic/positive – (Even Lord Sugar himself fell into this one!) I’ve tried being depressed and it sucks.

If I took all of this on board I’d be too busy trying to pretzel myself into an extremely un-Jaz shape! Plus I’d be exhausted, riddled with imposter syndrome and have no time to get on with my mission of encouraging you!

If you’re looking for a kind, specific and helpful community – join mine! My Impact Lounge Facebook Group is designed with you in mind and celebrates the power of resilience and authenticity.

Be Human First Blog

News, insights and motivation on how to become a Human First Leader. 



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