We all have our ways of dealing with constructive criticism or suggestions. Personally I tend to reject new ideas at first. I don't always come right out and disagree with them, I usually request some time to get used to an idea before making a decision. Experience has taught me that once I get comfortable with an idea or a person, they become much more appealing to me.
We used to have an employee who was wonderful to work with 90% of the time. She was thoughtful and reliable and very set in her ways. She would make suggestions and easily discuss any ideas for change within the system. Once we actually implemented any changes, somehow they, along with any prior discussions about said changes, would simply vanish from her memory. Any time you reminded her of the new policies it was as if they had never before existed. "Oh really. I don't remember that at all." Short of calling her a liar there was no way to really combat this approach. She was a wonderful woman but it was a bit of a relief when she decided to move on.
I'm thinking of her because of a discussion with Alex about how to structure some writing that we're working on. He was explaining what he thought we should do. I listened and then added a few suggestions/changes that I thought would improve his idea. He then proceeded to re-explain his idea. I explained the reasoning behind my suggestions a bit more fully. At this point he became very frustrated with me and accused me of not understanding his basic structure. I responded by explaining that I did understand, I simply didn't agree with him. There was a moment of silence as he absorbed that information.
Fortunately the nature of a partnership means understanding how to work well together. He took a minute and realized that I actually was listening to him and we agreed to disagree for the time being. We'll pick the discussion back up tomorrow. Experience tells me the conversation will go better on both sides because we'll have had time to absorb each others ideas and flesh out the best way to make things work. Now in kitchen and classroom scenarios we don't always have this luxury. Usually in the heat of the moment one of us has to give, on a good day it's the person who is less invested in the change. That point where our different opinions intersect is not always easy to find. The process of getting there is what defines what we do together. Picking a partner is easy. Learning how to negotiate with each other is a constantly evolving art. I have to say though, the results are definitely worth the effort we put into it.