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  • Tarun Kumar

Being Thick Skinned – Is it a Bane or Boon?

Recently I met a colleague of mine with whom I used to work couple of decades ago. The guy hasn’t changed over the years, he still has the same jovial expression, sparkle in the eyes and a nonchalant attitude.    

Those days during our weekly feedback meetings he was the one receiving the rough end of the stick from the Director Operations on issues such as not sticking to routine, violating the operating protocols and missing deadlines, in-spite of all these brushes with unpleasant outcomes once out of the conundrum of meeting/conference hall he would dust off and move on. We used to call him, “The Thick Skinned”.

“THE TROUBLE WITH MOST OF US IS THAT WE’D RATHER BE RUINED BY PRAISE THAN SAVED BY CRITICISM”. –Norman Vincent Peale (author of The Power of Positive Thinking)

There is a new meaning attached today on being Thick Skinned.

We live in stressful times and this aspect is assuming importance as one of the Life Skills.

In today’s Corporate culture confrontational situations are common place. Whether we succumb or deal smartly depends on how we are equipped to deal with a situation without letting it affect us negatively.

Be it family, friends, colleagues, rash driver on the road or some obnoxious comment on the social media – conflicts are unavoidable.

We must learn to live a stressful day through some resolution tactics such as :-

1.           Accept criticism with a pinch of salt – It is not agreeable but necessary. It calls attention to unhealthy state of things.

2.           Stop Defending – It could be taken as a sign of weakness & insecurity. Even at the cost of disagreeing try to see through the feedback – you may find some truth in that.

3.           Don’t take it personally – those who do not see your point of view, are viewing it from their perspective. What is 6 to you is 9 to them. Do not look for people’s validation.

4.           It not always about you – resist proving yourself right. We all must have couple of people outside our workplace who give positive strokes and affirmation, such people are necessary for growth.

5.           Plan quick exit from messy situations – Don’t engage in too much talk or debate. Successful leaders know when to quit a conversation with élan. Avoid provocations which will project you in poor light.

6.           Bounce back – the ability to dust off an unpleasant experience & turn up next day with a fresh approach. Such people do well in their personal & professional lives as well – aspire to be one.


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