1. Greet the initial criticism with a positive response, such as, "Let's talk about it."
2. If the criticism is vague, ask for specific behavioral examples.
3. Help the person state the specific. It's often dificult for most people.
4. Restate the criticism so the person will know you understand.
5. Close the discussion with a positive response, such as, "Thanks for bringing it to my attention."
What you like to hear and what you need to know are often two different things.