Follow these guidelines and criticism need never be negative again.
REMAIN COOL and calm - take a few deep, slow breaths. Defuse the situation by indicating your willingness to listen: 'I'd like to hear what you think,' or, 'I'm listening. Please continue.'
GATHER INFORMATION. If criticism seems too general or unclear, ask for examples, specific instances and statistics.
THANK THE OTHER PERSON and play for time. 'I'm grateful for your frankness. Can I think this over ...'
SORT OUT fact from fiction. Look at what you have learned about yourself, the other person, or the situation you are in.
IF CRITICISM was deserved, declare a commitment to change.