How to Give Kind Criticism, and Avoid Being Critical : zen habits - Deepstash
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Why We Give Criticism

  • To help someone improve. Sometimes criticism is actual honest feedback.
  • To see a change that we would like. If we regularly read a magazine or blog, for example, there might be something that often bothers us that we’d like to see changed. 
  • To further the discussion. Criticism can be a way to get a good, intelligent discussion about something going on.
  • To hurt someone or to vent our frustrations.
  • To boost our ego, to show how powerful or knowledgeable we are.

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Why Criticism Hurts or Angers

  • The criticism is mean-spirited. If you use insulting or degrading language or put down the person in any way, they will focus on that, and not on the rest of the criticism.
  • If you focus on the person instead of their actions, you will make them angry or defensive or hurt.
  • They assume you’re attacking them. Some people can’t take criticism in a detached, non-personal way. 
  • They assume they’re right. Many people don’t like to hear that they’re wrong, whether it’s true or not.

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How to Deliver Criticism Kindly

  • Don’t attack attack, insult, or be mean in any way
  • Talk about actions or things, not the person.
  • Don’t tell the person he’s wrong.
  • Don’t criticize at all. Give a positive suggestion instead.

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Suggestion, not criticism

No matter how nice your criticism and how much you focus on actions, a criticism is often not the way to go.

A suggestion can be positive, it can be seen as helpful, it can be seen as an instrument for improvement and change.

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Be Positive And Specific

Be Positive And Specific

  • Negative criticism hurts the discussion because things can take an ugly turn from there.
  • It’s easy to give vague criticism. It’s harder still to make a specific, positive suggestion:

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Relate to actions

Relate to actions

Never criticize the person. Always criticize the actions. 

And when you’re making suggestions, make suggestions about actions, not about the person.

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alanaff

Travel aficionado Writer. Passionate social media geek. Reader.

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