How to Give Kind Criticism, and Avoid Being Critical : zen habits
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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.
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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The more specific your feedback, the more actionable it is for the one receiving it. Example: Asking for an article on communication is vague while asking for one on public speaking is speci...
To help people improve talk about things they can do something about, rather than those out of their control. Critiquing the former makes your criticism constructive; critiquing the latter makes the person feel bad as they can’t do anything about it, even if they want to.
Understand the person’s situation and his/her objectives, then provide your critique based on that. And if you need to talk about something out of their control, balance it out by talking about things they can control.
Give recommendations on what the person can do to improve so they have a clear idea of what you have in mind and get a strong call-to-action.
With your recommendations, (a) be specific with your suggestions and (b) briefly explain the rationale behind the recommendation. Also, try to limit examples to one per point to make your case more impactful.
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Even when poor behavior affects our work negatively and we have a regularly established open space for criticism, we still often hold back for fear of getting a negative reaction.
Most people rather receive feedback on what they did wrong than just praise on their successes. So while we tend to categorize this as negative feedback, the communication is often viewed positively.
Too often, people over complicate the process of giving corrective feedback. It doesn’t require elaborate stories or some pop psychology analysis.
Just a straightforward discussion with a few key points will do.
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"Sandwiching" your critique between two positive things about the person's softens the blow, and avoids it coming off like an attack. The mix of positive and negative makes people more likel...
Keep your criticism to your observations, and the impact they have. Don't try to fix the problem, just identify it.
Offer to help fix the problem, and to support the solution that the other person comes up with. Unless you know how to do the work your coworker is doing, don't try to solve it for them—they'll ignore your feedback and you.
The point of your criticism is to help someone improve, or to correct a problem, and your feedbacks should carry that message. If you’re doing anything but that, reevaluate whether you actually have legitimate criticism to give, or you just need to talk to someone.
Offer positive and specific suggestions to alleviate the issue at hand, or identify the problem clearly without talking about the person, just the issue.
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In the context of poor communication, criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons: to hurt someone, to vent your frustrations or to boost your ego.
It’s easy enoug...
When you blame someone, you take any responsibility off of yourself and put it on them.
It’s understandable that you want to express your dissatisfaction with something. But sometimes you need to express it in order to find a solution, not to point singers.
Complaining is exhausting because it puts pressure on the other person.
Complaining often results in the other person feeling as if they should somehow “fix” the problem or else just get away from the complaining.
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And we remember criticism strongly but inaccurately. But although criticism is more lik...
Criticism, even done poorly, transforms leaders. The sting of criticism given years ago can still cling years later. Most often, criticisms humble you.
Choose teammates carefully. Don’t give persistent critics a seat at the table.
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No matter how good or how seasoned you are, there's always room to grow.
Explain Your Perspective. The more specific you can be here, the better.
Engage in a Dialogue. Work together with your boss to hash out the unspoken details of the criticism.
However needed it may be, people often view criticism as hurtful and feel attacked. And that puts them on the defensive, meaning they won’t be able to truly absorb what’s being criticized.
That’s why constructive criticism is a helpful skill to develop when dealing with other people. Knowing how to do it drastically affects how the message is received.
Feedback provides an opportunity to gain insights about a person's personal and professional actions.
Without feedback, we will move in the same direction without realizing our shortcomings. ...
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