How Smart People Respond to Constructive Criticism
As the person shares feedback with you, listen closely. Allow the person to share their complete thoughts, without interruption. When they’re done, repeat back what you heard.
Avoid analyzing or questioning the person’s assessment; instead, just focus on understanding his or her comments and perspective.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
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 specific.
An specific feedback that doesn’t target the person is easier to understand and act upon.
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.
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.