How To Deal With Criticism So That You Don’t Take It So Personally #BITESIZE

How To Deal With Criticism So That You Don’t Take It So Personally #BITESIZE

Professor Paul McGee is one of Europe’s leading speakers on the subject of change, resilience, wellbeing, and communication. His book SUMO became a Sunday Times best seller and his book on Self Confidence reached number one in the WHSmith’s business book chart and remained there for a further 24 weeks. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast television and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio.

Paul’s aim is to deliver a practical, relevant message that can make an immediate impact on people’s professional and personal lives. He’s spoken for more than 1,000 organisations in over 40 countries to date, and from India to Italy and from Bangkok to Brisbane, Paul’s messages have resonated with a global audience. He has had the privilege of working with one of the world’s top management gurus the late Dr Stephen Covey and his work has been endorsed by Sir Clive Woodward, who coached England to victory in the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup. Chris Evans has described Paul’s books as “a gift to the world.” His clients include prominent blue chip organisations, public sector bodies and a leading Premiership football club.

Prof. Paul McGee’s Books  • S.U.M.O. Your Relationships: How to Handle Not Strangle the People You Live and Work With • How to Speak So People Really Listen: The Straight–Talking Guide to Communicating with Influence and Impact •  S.U.M.O (Shut Up, Move On): The Straight-Talking Guide to Succeeding in Life •

Criticism is everywhere today, where people often share their opinions of other people very easily despite not knowing the person, online using social media.  The criticism often goes too far, especially in a sporting context, when so much emotion is evident.  Throw in general criticism on the side of a pitch from spectators, and negative feedback from coaches and team-mates.  It really can be tough being involved in sport with no hiding place.

You’ll find some athletes and coaches brush off criticism, others though can find it very difficult to deal with.  It can impact their well-being and relationships with other people.  Sometimes they’ll respond angrily or in an aggressive manner, in other cases they’ll be overcome with sadness and get very upset. 

The key is to take the learning, from criticism, which isn’t easy and is the focus of this bitesize episode, with Professor Paul McGee, one of Europe’s leading speakers and a respected author.  He shares some great stories and ideas to help you.

Feel free to tune in!

Key Learning Points:

  • A bad game doesn’t mean that you are a bad person.
  • Recognise if you become defensive in the face of criticism.
  • Acknowledge if your inner dialogue is overly critical and learn to be kinder to yourself.
  • Perspective is vital.

Useful Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Would you seek advice from the person who has criticised you?
  • Does the person criticising you have your best interests at heart?
  • Will I remember this incident in 6 months’ time?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how close to death is this situation?

Connect with Paul McGee


The Sumo Guy Website 

Books written by Paul McGee

S.U.M.O. Your Relationships: How to Handle Not Strangle the People You Live and Work With

S.U.M.O (Shut Up, Move On): The Straight-Talking Guide to Succeeding in Life

Connect with David Charlton

Sign Up to The Mental Edge

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Relevant Podcast Episodes

Ep041: Paul McGee – How to Develop Interpersonal Confidence

Ep105: Hannah Bromley – Overcoming Psychological Challenges in Professional Women’s Football

Ep120: David Charlton – Sport Coach Development: Helping Athletes Perform Better by Adapting How You Communicate

Ep131 David Charlton – How to Deal with Self-Criticism using Self Compassion – FINAL PART

Ep166: Mark Bennett MBE – How To Help Athletes and Coaches Reflect On Their Performances

Relevant Blogs

Blog: 3 Tips to deal with bullying in sport

Blog: Communicating with children in sport

Blog: Why You Should Recognise The Power of Your Words

Blog: How Coaches Can Help Athletes Deal with Mistakes

Blog: 5 Ways To Create A Psychological Safe Sporting Environment

Other Useful Resources

Conversations with Kids – Dealing with Criticism

Kristin Neff Website on Self-Compassion



Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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