Our Blog

The Positive Give Of Criticism

  • Image
  • 0

Many people respond negatively to the word criticism, instantly associating it with harsh comments, hurt feelings and angry responses. But criticism does not have to be destructive, regardless of whether you are on the giving or receiving end.

Be conscious of the spirit in which criticism is given. Are you prone to giving negative criticism? Ask yourself if you have lost perspective and humor because you are so focused on what others are doing wrong. Remember that if you are too critical, you are blocking the creative process that accompanies any job. Being critical in a negative way inhibits good relationships, produces retaliatory criticism and bruises much-needed good will among co-workers.

A negative critic will find himself talking about a co-worker behind their back, which fosters distrust and anger once that co-worker finds out it is happening. And they will find out!

Negative criticism is a destructive force that can cause irreparable damage to self-esteem, job productivity and attitude. On the “Why You Hate Your Job” list, it ranks on top for a lot of employees. But criticism doesn’t have to get a bad rap. Indeed, there are ways to criticize productively and positively.

1. Think of it as teaching. Instead of criticizing someone for an obviously rushed presentation, you might say, “You did a good job! Am I right in thinking I didn’t give you as much time to present your excellent information as you would have liked? Let’s get together and talk about how you can format the information so that next time you can discuss each point in more detail within the time period. You can also show me how you formulate your presentation so I can allot the time you need.” You’ve just taught your co-worker, through criticism, how to improve on his or her job.

2. Build self-esteem. Letting a co-worker know that her work is valuable is a true self-esteem builder. When you tell her she is doing a good job, she will most likely be far more receptive to hearing how she can do an even better job next time.

3. Timing can be everything. If a co-worker is receiving praise, never deflate their joy by sharing criticism at that moment. Always ensure that your comments are private. Choose a time that is neutral and calm.

4. Make sure the comments can be implemented. Always talk about what can be done next time.

5. Listen. How does the recipient of your criticism feel afterward? Ask. Then listen closely to determine if he understands what you have said.

6. Avoid the “should.” Are the first words out of your mouth, “You know, you should really write your report this way?” Remain open and instructive, instead of rigid and pedantic and your criticism is more likely to gain acceptance.

7. Don’t push. It puts stress on the recipient and shows you are far more concerned with seeing your ideas implemented that your co-worker’s well-being.

Tell the person you are criticizing how he or she will benefit from taking a certain action. Remind the person of the powerful payoffs to their career, which would come from responding positively to criticism. Criticism can serve as a useful tool for improving job performance, motivating others and creating a sense of resolution as solutions are reached.


This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!