Being criticised, to many people, is a bitter pill to swallow. Nobody really likes receiving criticism but it is inevitable that at some time or another it is going to happen. Generally, dishing out criticism is every bit as hard as being criticised and it is a fact that, people in general, are not very good at giving effective ‘feedback’.
When it comes to giving criticism, many prefer to stay in the background and say nothing while others are brutally blunt, outspoken, tactless and painfully rude. Just to give you an example, have you ever been asked for your opinion on an issue only to say “I like it!” when deep down inside you really couldn’t care less or you actually dislike it intensely?
On the other hand, have you ever given criticism to someone or something to have it lead to an argument? Where human beings are concerned it is unfortunate and natural to let our emotions speak first and to never allow our logic to have its say. This can undoubtedly lead to some undesirable problems if left to run wild. So how can a person offer criticism or ‘feedback’, as some like to call it, without causing World-War-three?
The most effective form of criticism is constructive criticism; it puts forward valid feedback which is both positive and negative. Giving constructive criticism can help an individual by providing them with much-needed feedback on things that can be improved and issues that can be avoided. The people who benefit from your constructive criticism will be more likely to credit you in some way for helping them in their pursuit of success.
Constructive criticism can also keep feelings from being hurt by focusing on things that can be improved while avoiding personal attacks or insults. Language can be powerful and how we use it really must be carefully considered if we wish to avoid unnecessary and unproductive conflict. Attacking someone personally with a tactless application of words will only succeed in eliciting a defensive response and an ultimate break-down in communication. From a social point of view this is and will always be counter-productive.
Let’s be honest, we all have a different opinion on how something should be done. But, you really need to give criticism that is going to offer a potential improvement and, avoid like the plague, criticism that is only good for satisfying your own personal desire. That is unless you are determined in your quest to show everyone how narcissistic and egotistical you really are.
I always cringe when I hear someone say: “can I be brutally honest?” When I hear this I’m tempted to say: “I want you to be honest but I would prefer that you were not brutal about it. If I have the choice, I would prefer that you were compassionate and objective”. As far as I am concerned, honesty and brutality do not make good bed-fellows.
NOT every thought that comes to mind should be spoken. When someone justifies their words by saying,“it’s the truth”, it is often just an excuse to pass a mean-spirited judgement on someone or something.
As Winston Churchill once said: “By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.
We have all met those people at social gatherings who take great delight in flouting their ‘superior’ knowledge in a dogmatic way designed to hammer home their point and ridicule anyone that should dare to disagree. How many of us go out of our way to avoid those people? I know I do.