We all know we’re not perfect still; nobody likes being reminded of that, especially in your workplace. Co-workers or family members criticizing your choices can be a challenging experience.
Difference between criticism and constructive criticism
There is always a difference between criticism and constructive criticism.
Criticism is based on our performance, be it at work or in our daily life. Negative criticism is more based on things that aren’t in our control, being criticized for the way you talk, the way you move or your hair etc. These are personal attacks in the name of criticism and aren’t helpful to anybody.
Constructive criticism, on the other hand, comes from a place of concern and encouragement. It is to bring about a positive change. Constructive criticism doesn’t lower your morale; it boosts your self-esteem, so you work and perform better.
How to give constructive criticism
Sometimes it can be hard to express your honest opinion. For example, you might not like the work of your fellow worker, but this honest feedback could ruin the air between the two.
Here’s what you should remember while giving constructive criticism:
The sandwich method
This is one of the most common methods of providing constructive criticism without hurting anyone’s feelings. The sandwich method is a strategic and balanced way of putting forward your ideas. First, you should open the conversation on a positive note, say something positive about their work or praise them. After this, you can focus on the negative aspects where they can work on those areas. Finally, end with again positive comments, giving encouragement and offering productive solutions to the problems.
Make sure you’re specific about your criticism. It is better to not beat around the bush and avoid causing any miscommunications. The feedback should not be a broad area; make sure to pinpoint exactly what you’re dealing with and what needs help. Specific criticism allows the person to understand your needs and your point of view better. As a result, it will be easier to deliver what you want, and you too will have a better impact.
See what you give criticism about
Like already pointed out, criticism should be about things that are in control of the listener. Not their personality or appearance. You should detach the person from your criticism and make it about the problem. Critiquing someone personally can be demeaning and make them feel bad.
How to take criticism
Learning to accept this criticism is probably more important than learning how to give it. Our brains constantly want us to feel not good enough and for people suffering from anxiety, any form of criticism can be hard to deal with.
Don’t take things personally
The person is probably trying to offer a different perspective to make your work better and not make you feel bad. Recognize your strengths and your weaknesses and work towards overcoming them.
An open mind
Processing criticism can be very misleading and easy to take negatively. Always clarify if you have any misunderstandings. Keep your mind open to criticisms regarding your work and focus on how to make it better.
Process the constructive criticism and incorporate the new information into your work. Finally, make sure you deliver exactly what the speaker has asked for and are happy with your performance.
Constructively criticism can be encouraging and uplifting if done right. It allows us to learn from our own mistakes, know our weaknesses and work towards bettering ourselves. In addition, it helps create stronger bonds between co-workers and family members.