At the mention of the word “criticize”, most would feel negative. After all, one definition of the word criticize is to express one’s disapproval of something or say something that you think is bad or wrong about something. But let us not forget that while the fault-finding will to some extent, attend the process, the main and best function of criticism is also to recognize merits and not purely the defects.
Criticism is a vital part of any organization or relationship. It helps improve performances when some fresh eyes look at you and your work and provide new perspectives on areas you may have underlooked that you can improve. Giving and receiving criticism also helps you balance your temperament as you manage your emotional responses, and it also helps you improve the leader that is in you.
Criticism, when communicated well, also creates a bond or sense of teamwork. Importance of having someone looking after your back. If you should ever give one, criticism will always have to be “constructive.” Constructive meaning focused on enhancement or improvement. Its goal is to encourage people to do better and not merely crush one’s spirits.
Tips on Giving Constructive Criticism/Negative Feedback
Now that you know the purpose of constructive criticism, how can you provide it effectively? There are a few things you can do or keep in mind.
Beware not to give ‘destructive criticism,” which is purely a barrage of negative comments. Destructive criticism results when we become hypercritical and become too focused on just finding faults. It tends to become personal attacks that are not necessarily criticisms that are not actionable.
Appreciate the good as well. Again, criticism is also about giving merit when it is due. This provides the person with something to be inspired about working on. Find the good in something and how it can even be better.
Instead of using the “sandwich method”, provide specific and actionable feedback. The sandwich method means sandwiching the “needs improvement” part between “good feedback.” Focus on giving specific and actionable feedback instead. The sandwich method may make it difficult to get the conversation focused on how things can be improved. And on this part, be open to brainstorming with the person you are providing feedback to about what steps can be taken to make the improvements possible.
Giving constructive feedback aims to provide the recipient with something to work on. Good constructive criticism contains realistic recommendations and next steps that the person may do to develop their abilities better and point out what could be improved.
Use the right words. As a leader or as the person giving the feedback, use the right words that focus the feedback on the situation or something you are giving feedback on, instead of words that focus on the person. This will help the person feel that the criticism is not about them as a person.
Find the best time to provide feedback. Never criticize someone in the heat of the moment. Nobody likes to leave the stage and run into someone who readily criticizes their performance. Say something kind and nice at the moment, and then wait until a more appropriate time to offer suggestions. And also, do not give unsolicited feedback unless you really need to.
Inserting your opinions and ideas when they aren’t wanted is impolite and presumptuous. Unsolicited counsel might even convey a sense of superiority, implying that the giver of the advice understands what is correct or best. Unsolicited advice is frequently perceived as critical rather than beneficial. It might become irritating if it is repeated.
Receiving Constructive Criticism (Negative Feedback)
Equally important is learning how to give constructive criticism and learning how to receive criticism graciously. And since you are at the opposite end of the equation, you can not always control the kind of criticism or feedback you receive. It can be constructive or destructive criticism because you have little control over what others say.
What you can control is your attitude toward receiving criticism. People who readily accept criticism are rare indeed. Here are a few tips on how to receive criticism graciously.
Keep in mind the importance of feedback. Keep in mind that it is aimed to help you improve. Even destructive criticisms do not necessarily mean it will be destructive to you if you have the right attitude.
Open your eyes and heart to criticism. If you are a person who wishes to improve each day, then listen openly to criticisms and take as much info as you can on the possible things you have to improve on. Being criticized by your boss or your teacher is always a learning experience. Use it to learn from them. Ask questions and more suggestions to make the most out of the teaching moments.
Be grateful. Develop a grateful heart that someone is making an effort and spending time focusing on looking at your work to help you become the best you can be. Express gratitude to the person offering criticism or negative feedback.
On Making Mistakes
Negative feedback can make us afraid of making mistakes but remember that making mistakes is a vital aspect of the learning process, as it is a constant process throughout life. It is natural and typical for us to make mistakes when learning new things. The issue isn’t so much about making mistakes in how we view and react to them.
When all is said and done, criticism has the potential to make us defensive, furious, and self-conscious, reducing our effectiveness. Furthermore, we cannot accept all of the input we get at face value. While negative feedback is often delivered objectively and with the best intentions, it can also be erroneous and/or malicious and can take its toll on us if we are not always self-aware.
It is always good to take some time off ourselves for self-reflection and self-care. One of the most effective ways you can do that is through Intuitive Healing sessions, which we offer either through in-person or distance/online sessions. Intuitive Healing is our advanced form of Reiki, with a special focus on Emotional Healing. Both Reiki and Intuitive Healing are forms of energy healing to shift the body back into balance, cleanse energy fields within us and release energy blockages. Reiki treatments and Intuitive Healing sessions are safe for all ages and conditions, completely natural, effective on their own, yet complementary with other medical procedures and therapies, most often psychotherapy and alternative therapies.
All those negative emotions from negative feedback stuck in the body will be isolated and identified until finally released from your body. Those negative emotions detrimental to your subconscious thought patterns affecting your behaviour can no longer hold power over you.
Intuitive Healing sessions are a pleasant, natural, and effective method to boost overall health, best of all, it works truly on a holistic level.