Constructive criticism is something that is both hard to give and receive. Yet it can greatly benefit your life if you master your emotions, truly care about people, communicate with compassion, and listen objectively.
Have you ever received criticism from a person who just wanted to tell you “the facts of life” and did not care about your feelings? It probably wasn’t a very good experience. Why? Because your feelings were not considered or cared for.
Herein is are 7 keys to giving constructive criticism:
1. Consider and care for a person’s feelings before endeavoring to criticize them.
2. Acknowledge a person’s strengths and accomplishments before plunging into recognizing their weaknesses. Build them up as a person first before pointing out flaws and dangers.
3. Commit to the person and their organization over the long term as they endeavor to improve and make necessary adjustments.
4. Speak from the heart truthfully and graciously realizing that we all are continually growing and evolving personally and professionally.
5. Allow the person whom you are correcting and providing constructive criticism to ask you any questions and comment upon that which you are saying.
6. Refuse to get into an argument. Just state that which you see, feel, hear, and know.
7. Thank the person for listening and honor them as a person and professional for doing so.
Here are 7 keys to effectively receive constructive criticism:
1. Silence your feelings and listen objectively so you can get something from the feedback.
2. Remember feedback is not final. It is only a part of your whole person and performance at any given point in time.
3. Before saying “I know,” humbly and quietly listen to all that is being told you so you can build a relational bridge, open communication lines for future feedback, and learn from that which is being said.
4. Remember personal growth and professional development is a process and journey. You don’t have to be perfect or flawless. Allow yourself freedom to fail, make mistakes, but humbly and wholeheartedly learn from them. Enjoy the journey and grow daily.
5. After the person is done providing constructive criticism to you ask them, “Is there anything else you’d like me to know? Is there any way I can improve personally and enhance my performance professionally? What are your recommendations?”
6. Refuse to argue over any points of disagreement big or small. Simply remain open for feedback and input from outsiders whereafter you can ultimately make you own decisions.
7. Thank the person for providing constructive criticism and when appropriate highlight what you learned or deemed positive about the interaction.
These 7 keys to give and receive constructive criticism will get you moving in the right direction relationally and professionally. Personal and professional growth is ongoing. Allow yourself the freedom to listen and graciously speak up when necessary to contribute to your own and others development.
By Joseph Coffey