In yesterday’s Life Palette blog we looked at “7 Tips For Dealing With Criticism Successfully”. It’s so important because as long as we live in this imperfect world we are going to receive criticism. What we do with it and how we handle it is the key. (Be sure and check out yesterday’s blog if you missed it.) For the sake of healthy relationships you must understand the art of receiving criticism with the right attitude. Likewise, for the sake of healthy relationships you must be able to be the critic when needed. When giving criticism to someone you care about and have their best in mind, be careful, you don’t want to ruin the relationship. So here are 7 tips on how to give constructive criticism:
Tip #1: Check Your Heart
Before diving into the deep end by giving someone constructive criticism, make sure your heart is pure. Ask yourself “why” you feel it is necessary to confront the other person. Consider your motivation. Do you have their best in mind? Are you in their corner? The goal of sharing constructive criticism should be to elevate the person you are sharing it with.
Tip #2: Begin & End With Encouragement
If someone is worth the time and effort you are going to spend to give them constructive criticism, them they have qualities that you genuinely believe are worthy of encouragement. So begin by speaking to those areas. Speak about their potential. After you have given them the constructive criticism (by the way, the operative word here is “constructive” – don’t overlook that!) end the conversation with more encouragement. Once again, be authentic about the potential you see in them.
Tip #3: Check Your Timing
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying: “timing is everything”. That saying is most important in this area of living. Nothing can destroy relationships quicker than poor timing when being a critic. Nothing can add more value to a relationship than giving constructive criticism at the right time. The right time is when they are in a good place mentally and emotionally to receive it. The right time is always in private. The right time is when they are able to do something about it.
Tip #4: Don’t Allow It To Be Personal
Constructive criticism is about a problem, so make sure you don’t allow things to get personal. If there are personal relationship issues you need to deal with, that’s a completely different issue altogether. I talk about that in great detail in my book Life Palette. Constructive criticism should be focused on problems that are hindering the other persons potential. Guard their self-confidence – if possible, build their self confidence!
Tip #5: Focus On Creative Solutions
Anyone can be a critic, but those who make a difference are those who are willing to be a part of the solution. Invest the energy to see your constructive criticism through to the solutions. Come up with as many potential solutions as possible before speaking with the person. Make sure you don’t come across to them as though you are saying “my way is the right way”, rather you are willing to invest with them in the creative process for their sake.
Tip #6: Be Clear With What You Say
If you are unclear about what you are going to say – don’t say it. You may want to write it out, even if it’s only for your sake. If at all possible it’s best if you are able to share examples to back up what you say. Make sure you have your facts straight. And never let your examples be a comparison to others – remember this is about their potential.
Tip #7: Consider the Criticisms Worthiness
After going through the first 6 tips, consider carefully if this is an issue that is truly worthy of giving to the other person. Regardless of how well you give constructive criticism or how prepared you are, remember that it will be a relational strain – it may add great worth as you work through it – but make sure it is worth it!
If you have questions or comments about this blog or the book Life Palette, please post them below. I would love to have you join in this conversation.
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