Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”- Winston Churchill.
This quote rightly proves that you cannot escape criticism and that’s why it is very important to learn the art of giving and receiving constructive criticism as it can make or break anyone!
But there are many who struggle to give criticism or finding it tough to graciously receive the same.
And that’s why today we have compiled some smart tactics for those who wish to learn some ways on how to how to give and deal with criticism?
Let’s start off with tips on how to give constructive criticism
1. Don’t tell your feelings, tell what’s wrong and how it should be corrected.
“If we are bold enough to point out problems, we must be brave enough to try to solve them.”- Robert Alan Silverstein.
The best way to give apt criticism is to tell the other person exactly their mistake or what’s wrong. Don’t attack the person just focus on the mistake. If you vent out your feelings then it will show that you are personally attacking him or her.
One should give a detailed analysis on why it is wrong, provide alternatives or ideas on how it can be changed or improved.
2. Let them find their own mistakes or how it can be done better.
“Don’t mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified, it is not a criticism, learn from it.” – Anonymous.
Sometimes it is very difficult to find our own mistakes at first instance. But later on, we do find them.
So instead of directly hitting the person, you can give some hint and allow him or her to find. So next time try encouraging self-critique as this makes things smooth.
3. Sandwich Method: One of the common and ideal methods.
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. “- Frank A. Clark
This method is safest and can be considered as best one. Following are the steps of the method:
#Step 1: Praise- Appreciate the person for what he or she is good at.
#Step 2: Give out facts: Give the constructive feedback.
#Step 3: Compliment: As you close the topic, again praise and reinstate their confidence.
4. Use right words, as words can either encourage or discourage.
If it’s very painful for you to criticize your friends – you’re safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that’s the time to hold your tongue.”- Alice Miller
Your words are very vital as they denote what is the purpose of your flak. If words are harsh then it will showcase that you are just demeaning the person even if you wanted him or her to bring positive changes.
For example: If you say ” This is crap, not expected this mistake from you”.
It is advised that one should not use ‘you’ as this may denote that you are attacking the person and this arouses defensiveness. We do not know what people think so any wrong sentence can instantly demotivate or cringe anyone.
Instead, you can say “I believe that that you can bring some changes to make it better maybe, what do you think? Such words will not provoke or make another person conscious.
Here are some tips on how to take constructive censure like champ
1. Understand the difference between constructive and destructive flak.
To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing- Aristotle
One must be open to constructive criticism as it helps you to truly grow as a person. But you have to understand the difference between constructive and destructive ones.
It is important to consider constructive ones and shun the bogus flaks. You have to see who is saying and what are the intentions.
Avoid if it is not from the right person. If someone hurls flak just to belittle or hurt you then do not buy it. Accept it if it’s coming from the boss or any senior person whose intentions are meant to help you.
2. Understand first and do not react immediately.
He has a right to criticize, who has the heart to help- Abraham Lincoln.
It is very vital to listen to critique first instead of interrupting and react with anger or defensively. Listen to their feedback completely, introspect and check and then you can go ahead and explain yourself.
This will help you maintain the relationship as well. Lashing out spontaneously will make things sour.
3. If you fail to understand the mistake ask till you find it.
“Do not seek praise. Seek criticism.”- Paul Arden
Many times we just say okay and end the topic there. Instead of ignoring the flak, one can simply ask where was the fault or how you can improve it.
4. Train your mind to be grateful as you will benefit a lot.
“He only profits from praise who values criticism.” –Heinrich Heine
Make sure you take criticism with a smile and thank the person who helped you. Accept the mistake graciously and extend gratitude and improve on it till it’s rightly done. So learn to embrace constructive censure as we all have some shortcomings and as said it will help you to grow.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.