Maintaining positive, healthy relationships requires good communication and constructive feedback. Many of us shy away from sharing feedback, while others share it a little too freely. Giving constructive criticism appropriately is not easy for most of us- myself included!
What is constructive criticism?
Dictionary.com defines constructive as:
1. constructing or tending to construct; helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement ( opposed to destructive): constructive criticism.
The value behind constructive criticism is to inform our development, creativity and advancement. Constructive criticism is never intended to belittle, minimize, condescend or harm another person.
I appreciate when others share constructive feedback with me. It helps me strengthen working relationships, build trust, and it helps me grow personally and professionally. Constructive criticism can offer the opportunity for discovery and solutions to problems that would otherwise continue to hold me back.
Recognizing the value I place on constructive feedback, I want to give constructive feedback that gives others the opportunity to be their best and enjoy positive working relationships.
Healthy constructive criticism is:
When providing constructive feedback, consider your motives and emotions. If you are angry, resentful, frustrated, lonely, or tired, the feedback you intend to give may not be appropriate. Stop, take a deep breath, take care of yourself, and come back to give feedback later.
Recognize that your opinion is your own, neither right nor wrong. Other people have different experiences and different opinions and that’s okay. If you choose to share feedback, avoid placing your own personal preferences and expectations on others. They may be able to get the same job done, just as well, utilizing their own ideas and methods.
Here’s some questions to consider when providing constructive criticism:
Were their actions appropriate to the situation, given the information they had at the time?
Were their practices effective? What results did they get?
How were they successful in their efforts?
How were they unsuccessful?
When giving constructive feedback, it’s helpful to acknowledge what worked as well as what didn’t work. Many people think constructive feedback is negative, but it can be positive as well. Letting someone know what they are doing right helps them build on effective skills and techniques.
Remember, constructive feedback builds people up, not tears them down.
I love your comments! Do you find it easy to give constructive criticism? Do you appreciate getting constructive feedback? How has it helped you grow?
image courtesy of Remara Photography