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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Giving Effective Constructive Criticism

One of my previous posts, "Don't Criticize, Condemn or Complain", I advocated the principle of doing away with criticism altogether.

Unexpectedly, this fundamental principle of good human relations drew a wide range of comments.

CK from A Singaporean in London commented: 'Real friends tell you what's wrong.'

Should good friends seek to criticize each other constructively when necessary? Or should they remain good friends by remaining silent?

Patricia Rockwell, a communications teacher with over 40 years of experience in the field, left this excellent comment:

"You can get that constructive criticism across to a friend without being negative yourself. Just couch your ideas as suggestions and keep it positive. What you are suggesting is an idea to help a fantastic person become even more fantastic!"

Giving praise is indeed an extremely powerful tool that is able to influence the actions of people. It can indeed help a fantastic person become even more fantastic!

Occasionally, there is a need to correct certain inappropriate or unacceptable behavior. But this brings forth certain pitfalls and difficulties.

Firstly, let us look at some problems when it comes to giving criticism.

Problem 1) - Few people enjoy being criticised or reprimanded. This invokes negative experiences as well as downbeat feelings. Such feelings inhibit positive behavior.

Problem 2) - Criticism often exaggerate negative situations in order to make a point.

For example: Occasional neglect to a wife or girlfriend might come out as "You never care about me!" This may trigger sparks of resentment that could ripple on for a lifetime.

Having explored the problems with criticism, do check out for my next post, "Tips for Giving Effective Constructive Criticism", which will look at some ways in which we can give effective criticisms.

Do remember to bookmark this post if you've enjoyed it.


Unknown said...

Hi bro, thanks for the link!

Negative criticsm tend to invoke the insecurity in all of us. So instead of dealing with the issue, we turned defensive.

Will be looking forward to your next post. :)

Anonymous said...

I think criticism depends on the context and the relationship between the parties. If someone truly desires an honest critique, then you should give one. It doesn't have to be mean-spirited, it can be done with the genuine desire to help out the other person. One thing I have learned, though, is to not give a critique unless asked to do so.

Sherry Go Sharing said...

wow, u got buzz.. I want put too..

Anonymous said...

I think a good critique is one that serves as suggestion, that will differentiate critic from complain like the statement "you never care about me" which I think is a complain and not a critique