Constructive criticism is a way for someone to give feedback on your performance in a way that is intended to be helpful. This can be beneficial for people in any industry as it can give them a clearer perspective on their performance and help them grow. However, it is important to be able to distinguish between helpful and unhelpful criticism, as the latter can be harmful. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two, but it is important to be able to in order to make the most of the feedback you receive.
There are two types of criticism: destructive and constructive. Destructive criticism is mean and makes fun of our mistakes. Constructive criticism is more helpful because it offers suggestions on how to improve.
To distinguish the main differences between the two, you may take note of the following tips below.
1. Constructive Criticism Makes You Hopeful; The Other Does Not
Helpful criticism is specific and makes it clear what needs to be improved. It is also positive and offers suggestions on how to improve. Unhelpful criticism is vague and leaves you feeling confused about what needs to be changed. It is also negative and doesn't offer any helpful suggestions.
2. Constructive Criticism Focuses on Solutions
Constructive criticism is meant to help you improve by pointing out what you can do differently. Unhelpful, even harmful critique is meant to make you feel bad without offering solutions.
3. Constructive Criticism Is Usually Delivered Calmly
When critiquing someone, it is important to be respectful and deliver the message in a way that is easy to understand. This ensures that the person receiving the criticism will be more likely to accept it and use it to improve their work.
The way you give feedback can make a huge difference in how the person receiving it reacts. If you give feedback respectfully and constructively, the person is more likely to be open to hearing what you have to say and to make changes based on your suggestions. On the other hand, if you give feedback critically and negatively, the person is more likely to become defensive and shut down your suggestions.
4. Constructive Criticism Focuses on Behaviour; The Same Can't Be Said for the Other
Constructive criticism is a great way to help someone improve their behaviour or skills. It involves observing specific behaviour and providing feedback in a helpful way. This can be very beneficial for the person receiving the feedback, as it can help them to identify areas they need to work on and improve.
Destructive criticism, on the other hand, is not as helpful. It involves observing someone's behaviour and providing feedback in a harmful way. This type of criticism can damage the person receiving it and make them feel insecure or discouraged.
5. Constructive Criticism Isn't Personal, but Factual
The SBI (situation, behaviour, impact) method is a great way to give constructive criticism that is objective and professional. This method ensures that personal feelings are left out of the equation, and only the facts are included. This is helpful for the person receiving the feedback because they can focus on what they need to improve without feeling attacked.
Overall, helpful feedback is specific, objective, and actionable. It is given in a respectful and supportive way, with the goal of helping the recipient improve. Harmful critique, on the other hand, is vague, subjective, and often unhelpful. It is given in a disrespectful and often critical way, with the goal of making the recipient feel inadequate.
Be sure to go for constructive feedback as it promotes further development rather than frustrated stagnancy that no one ever wants to feel or experience.
If you want to learn more from one of the best executive coaches in Australia, I, Stuart Andrews, would love to help. I offer leadership coaching to support Executives and Business Leaders drive successful initiatives while their teams consistently perform at the highest level, all with the assistance of my book, The Leadership Shift: How to Lead Successful Business Transformations in the New Normal. Feel free to check out my book for more helpful insights and tips on being a successful executive throughout your career.
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