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Admit it or not, we are used to criticizing others or being criticized. It is part of life. We are criticized by how we act, how we talk, and how we do certain things. Some of us are taking criticism negatively. Is it because we cannot accept criticisms from others? Or is it because of their way of telling it?
Actually, it is fine to be criticized and to criticize but it depends on how you do it, and on how you say it. Critiques are everywhere and in every aspect of life. In reality, we are dealing with them every single day. Sometimes we criticize ourselves for being this and that, for doing it and not, and so on. But today, let me emphasize that there is CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. And I am about to explain further about it so every one of us could understand the whys and what about this type of criticism.
First, let me define constructive criticism. According to The Web’s Largest Resource for Definitions and Translations, the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. The key terms are already there. In constructive criticism, you must have a valid reason to criticize their work and make sure that it is in a friendly way so you could avoid offending them. To avoid conflicts, we must apply this one way or another.
What do we mean by having a well-reasoned opinion? It is either you saw some flaws with them that you want to let them know. You must tell them what’s wrong and what are the things they need to change. Just make sure that your opinion will not look like a negative feedback to them, but make it sounds like you want them to improve for better.
You just can’t criticize someone just because you think they are doing better than you. This is reality. Some are criticizing others because they are doing better than them, which is wrong. Some are criticizing others because they want the spotlight focused on them, which is obviously wrong. If you have that kind of mindset, you better change it now. To avoid worst scenarios like conflicts and misunderstanding, here are the tips on how to give constructive criticisms:
The sandwich method tells us that we must use praise statements before telling them the things that they need to improve. Start a conversation on how well they are doing, how they met your expectations, and then work on telling them the areas they need to focus on or improve. It will not make you look less of a human if you praise someone else’s work and actions. Plus, you can tell them where they need an improvement in a nice way.
Sometimes, using the ‘I’ language is better. You can start a conversation with “I think”, “I’d suggest”, or any other phrase that will lighten the mood of the person you are talking to. In using this language, the listener can understand that you are criticizing a situation or behavior and not exactly the person. It will make them feel that you see and understand their situation by talking like it is from your point of view. Because of this, the listener might understand that it isn’t a negative criticism at all.
Never forget to praise the person or compliment their works and actions. In this way, they can take your criticism as a motivation. Sometimes it is better to start a conversation about how you praise them or appreciate them, and then you can mention the things that they need improvement. It takes a good conversation to avoid conflicts and misunderstanding.
Do not criticize them as a person, but rather give feedbacks to their actions that they can work on to. The things that you are about to tell them should not demotivate them, but rather inspire them to improve and do better. They will listen to your feedbacks and apply them if you are talking nicely.
These are the tips that you can follow to avoid misunderstandings between you and the one you are talking to.
It is fine asking someone to improve their works or change a certain behavior. The only problem that we usually encounter is the way on how we do it. But learning about the tips mentioned above, it is not hard at all. It will not be hard to talk to someone about their negative behaviors and how you want them to change it as long as you do it in a calm and friendly manner.
This time, I want you guys to realize how important to consider things before criticizing someone. It will only take you a minute or two to think wisely. Once you already said something offensive to them, you can’t change the way they think about you. Yes, maybe you can say sorry and they forgive you, but you cannot deny the fact that they will remember the things you said in their lifetime. So, before engaging in such circumstances, we might as well internalize the tips mentioned above.