If my daughter makes a mistake on her homework and I correct her (even in the calmest and sweetest tones), she sometimes has a melt down of emotions. Even though my reasons are honorable - ensuring she learns and no longer makes said mistake.
My daughter is 5, her emotions are not yet mature enough at times to grasp the value and purpose of what I am trying to do. She converts correction into rejection and emotionally reacts to the fact that the feedback points out something wrong, no matter how affirming my language and tone.
I've started noticing that adults and organizations react with the same knee jerk emotional reaction when the feedback highlights a flaw or an area of growth.
Poor habits that remain unchanged become reputation.
Why is this happening? Have they simply made excuses for the things that are slowly eating away at their potential and purpose? Is it some cultural road block they are unwilling to move beyond. Is their pride and identity tied to the wrong things?
Criticism, given in the right way and for the right reasons, should not be debilitating. People shouldn't react in anger or shuffle to avoid an awareness of something that is keeping them from being great. But people and organizations are and their optional weaknesses inevitably have become their identity instead of being converted into a strength. Thus making these people and/or organizations the most unpleasant to deal with. The end result is rarely desired, unless they've become delusional in the affirming the thing that is keeping them from their true goals and purpose (something I am witnessing more and more frequently).
We all must learn to take constructive criticism and convert into actionable goals if we wish to progress in our careers and our relationships. Lest we become the Donald Trump of our own life campaign.
Here is a pretty good article outlining how to take constructive criticism without taking it personally.