Criticism is a necessary part of life. You will tolerate criticism for most of your teenage life and in a professional setting. Undoubtedly, most of these pieces of criticism will only be constructive, help you see what you are doing wrong, and put you on the fast track to success.
When it’s your turn to criticize, you want to ensure your comment fits the previous definition. Staying dignified and constructive will help those below you feel better about their work with them and create a positive image.
So how can you criticize honestly without sounding mean?
Start the criticism by praising them for something.
It is easy to listen to criticism after we have been praised for what we did well. Instead, be honest in your sincere appreciation for the other person, and avoid appearing to be scolding them. Refrain from using the word “but” after the praise and use the word “and.” For example, “We are proud of you for raising your grades, and if you keep up the good work, you can increase your algebraic level.”
Your criticism should not be vague.
Taking Vague remarks seriously is challenging, and detailed input is far more helpful. For example, “I’d like to see more figures and graphics included in your presentations,” or “If you eliminated some of the clutter, this space might be utilized as an office.” That way, the other individual will know precisely how and what they need to work on in the future.
Make it a professional activity rather than a personal one.
Make your criticisms on the job or behaviour you’d like to see change rather than about a person’s personality or personal characteristics. Give constructive feedback without disparaging the other person, and identify potential roadblocks. After that, explain why changing the other person’s conduct will benefit them. Rather than stating, “You’re too sluggish and need to keep up with your deadlines,” instead, “Try to stick to your deadlines next time to avoid making your burden even harder the following week.”
Set a good example.
If you want an employer, a friend, or a child to do something in a certain way, you should lead by example. “An effective approach to rectify others’ faults is to bring attention to their mistakes indirectly,” says Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People. Demonstrating rather than telling is a popular method of changing someone’s behaviour.
Kindness is important.
Ask yourself how you can phrase your comments in the most positive way possible if you provide constructive criticism. People find it challenging to receive criticism, so try not to come out as harsh or thoughtless. If you’re having trouble, consider how you’d like to be treated if you received the same criticism. It all comes down to being courteous in the end. Here are some simple strategies to treat everyone in your life more kindly.
Begin by criticizing your actions.
To empathize with the person, you’re constructively criticizing, provide a personal tale about your failures. “It was tough for me to keep up with my deadlines while I was in school,” says one student, “but I started keeping track of my assignments on my calendar, and my work ethic improved.” In this manner, you’re not lecturing the other person but instead providing a suggestion based on your own experiences. This strategy may also be applied if you and a loved one have disagreed. If this is the case, acknowledge your role in the issue before moving on to what you wish the other person had done differently.
Choose the appropriate time to criticize.
Avoid criticizing others in front of your classmates, coworkers, or friends. It’s also better not to give feedback on something immediately after it happens or at the moment. Instead, choose a moment when the other person is not overburdened to provide constructive criticism in private.
Instead of issuing commands, ask questions.
Use statements like “You might want to think about this” and “Do you think that would work?” Make a recommendation, but ultimately leave the choice to others. This will assist them in learning from their errors. In addition, asking questions encourages creative problem-solving, leading to better solutions. “A method like that protects a person’s pride and provides him or her a sense of importance,” Dale Carnegie explains. Instead of encouraging disobedience, it promotes collaboration.
You might also want to read about Do You Take Life Too Seriously? Here’s A Guide To Worrying Less.