Dealing With Harsh Criticism
From The Newsroom Consultant
Dealing With Harsh Criticism From The Newsroom Consultant
“You should give up anchoring,”
That’s what an anchor coach said to me a week ago. He told me I’m likeable, and do a good job delivering the news, but my voice isn’t strong enough and I don’t have “the look.”
I was insulted. I wanted to say some mean things to him, and I wanted to cry.
I’ve been in the business for more than 10 years. I have been an anchor for most of that time; a main, evening anchor for a big chunk of it. And I was voted “Best Anchor” in a previous market.
Now, one sentence from an old man, and I’m questioning everything about my career.
This guy doesn’t know me, or my work ethic, but it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t think I am good enough, and he told my boss that too.
To say I am frustrated is an understatement. Part of me just wants to give up.
I have never thought I was pretty, and his comment about my looks validates that. I have always been extremely critical of myself, and his suggestion that I stop anchoring validates my concerns.
So now, because my company brought in a newsroom consultant/anchor coach, I’m more self-conscious than ever before.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? Well, here are some of the steps I’m taking to try and get out of this funk.
1. Take it with a grain of salt.
OK, his job is to come in and tell us what we need to do better. He has to say something.
I’m trying to remember that he is doing his job, and that he couldn’t come in and just tell me I’m great. He needs to earn his paycheck.
2. Some of it is valid criticism.
I’ve never had the typical deep anchor voice. It just isn’t who I am.
Yes, I have taken voice lessons. Yes, I have tried a lot of exercises to make my voice deeper. Some of it has worked. My voice is MUCH better now than it was 11 years ago. Is it a stereotypical news voice? No. Can I get there? Maybe.
Instead of getting mad at the criticism, I need to figure out how I can improve. As for the looks part of his criticism, I don’t know what to say. I guess I need a makeup lesson?
3. I still have a job.
Even though this man doesn’t think I’m great, I know my boss likes my work. I’m still in my position—a position I was promoted to.
I can’t let these comments negatively impact my day-to-day work because that only hurts me. If I let the self-doubt take over all of my thoughts, then my performance will suffer, and I could lose my position.
4. Do good work.
I have been focusing on my writing and storytelling. I’ve been trying to up my game when it comes to anchoring. I have even bought some new clothes, hoping it helps me look better.
I’m trying to use this experience as a positive, hoping it will help me improve my work instead of letting the negative thoughts consume me.