Inspiration Leadership Management

How to Handle Insults and Criticisms Like Steve Jobs

Here's a Jobsian approach in handling insults and criticism.

In this YouTube video, a man asked Steve Jobs a question that contained an insult. And here’s how Steve Jobs dealt with it:

Based on what you’ve just seen in the video, here’s how we should all handle insults and criticisms using the Jobsian approach:


You’ll notice that when Steve Jobs tried to answer the question, he paused twice. He did this to collect his thoughts and keep his emotions in check. By pausing, he was able to compose an impactful and powerful answer to an insulting question without losing his temper.


Find a common ground.

Steve Jobs began his answer with the phrase “people like this gentleman are right”. It’s a good way to find a common ground to show that you understand where the critic is coming from.

Respond calmly and in an impactful way.

Steve Jobs responded to the insulting question calmly and in an impactful way by expressing himself honestly, using his experiences as an example and by sharing his vision of how things should be done.

When building something great like starting a business, you’ll encounter a lot of insults and criticisms from a number of people along the way. How you respond to these insults and criticisms will separate you from the rest of the pack.


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