We all want to make forward strides and improve ourselves, whether it’s in our careers or personal lives. If someone we know has experience and knowledge that can help us to grow, wouldn’t we want to take their advice? When we step outside of our own perspective, we can gain valuable insight about ourselves.
It’s easy to say we’re open to trying new things. That is, however, until someone offers criticism. So why do we get defensive? Why is it so hard to acknowledge our shortcomings?
Giving and receiving criticism is tough. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to change our ways. However, if we aren’t open to feedback from those who have our best interest in mind, there’s no way to improve. By learning to give and receive criticism, you can reach your full potential and help others to do the same. Here are some tips to help you give and receive criticism well.
Give Words of Affirmation
Giving and receiving criticism doesn’t have to be a negative experience! Words of affirmation can go a long way. Sometimes, pointing out what someone else is doing right can be more effective than drawing attention to what they’re doing wrong. This is a key aspect of constructive criticism, as you are taking the time to acknowledge the good qualities in someone else.
For example, maybe someone has great organizational skills or has a natural ability to network and make connections. By praising them, you can reinforce these qualities. Plus, when the roles are switched, you will enjoy receiving praise, too!
Have you ever felt confused after receiving criticism? Don’t be afraid to ask questions for clarification. When you’re the one giving feedback, it’s important to not be too vague. Rather than just telling someone that they did something wrong, it can be helpful to explain why.
For example, if a manager asks their employee to change a behavior with no explanation, this may leave the employee confused. However, by simply explaining the negative outcomes that could occur because of the behavior, the employee will understand why they were asked to change.
Keep an Open Mind
When giving or receiving criticism, it’s important to let go of any unrealistic expectations you might have. If you’re the one offering feedback, remember that it may take a bit of time to implement the change fully. Don’t expect the outcome of your advice to be perfect right off the bat!
On the other hand, when you’ve received criticism, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s highly likely that you will mess up a time or two before getting it right! If you know the person has your best interest at heart, be thankful for the advice that was given to you and do your best to apply it to your life. Remember, nobody’s perfect!
Think of a favorite teacher, coach or employer you’ve had in the past. What made them your favorite? After all, didn’t they offer criticism? You most likely enjoyed learning from them because they made themselves relatable.
Being able to connect with others is very important, especially when giving criticism. This can be done by sharing an experience you had that was similar or a life lesson you’ve learned. This will set the tone to be much more casual, which can allow you and the other person involved to feel comfortable being open with each other.
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to stay positive and build others up. When offering feedback, show the other person that you’re confident in them and that you believe they will succeed. Encourage them in their passion and offer advice that you think will help them to accomplish their goals. And, when receiving criticism, look at it as an opportunity for growth!
We all start somewhere and have needed the help of others to get to where we are now. So, when you’re put in a situation where you have to take criticism or give it to someone else, don’t shy away! Remember, the end result is worth it!
What do you think of these tips? Let us know in the comments below!