“You need to clean this aisle better.” “You need to serve people faster.” “You goof off with your co-workers too much.” These are all things I’ve heard from a boss at work so if you’re like me and have had or do have a job you can relate to how a boss has to keep their staff on task. The problem is, these comments can be damaging to the self esteem of workers if taken the wrong way.
Have you ever been told you were lazy or selfish or even that your assignment wasn’t good enough to get the grade you wanted? Of course you have, everyone has. Criticism comes from all angles and all people. I have been criticized plenty of times in my life and it is something that is more then likely to happen every day. A criticism can be a small criticism such as “you’re a messy person” or they could be larger criticisms from a boss like “your annual report was terrible, you have no focus and your writing is poor and lacks detail.”
Criticism must be handled constructively:
When developing good personal relationships and indulging in them there are a lot of aspects that play a big part. Giving and accepting criticism, along with self-disclosure, commitment, trust, and relational dialectics is a small factor that adds to the many needed when satisfying good personal relationships.
There is a great article I found that further discusses the example of criticism used in the workplace from a bosses perspective. The article is by U.S. News and in the article it talks about the best ways to take any criticism in a work related environment. The writer Alison Green makes a few valid points within her article, those points being:
- Really listen.
- Don’t brush it off.
- Don’t be defensive.
- If you disagree, say it. But do it in the right tone.
You’ve got to have some give and take:
Criticism is a two way street, you have to not only be able to receive criticism but you also have to be able to give out well constructed criticism too. I came across another article, this time from AskMen.com that talks about giving out constructive criticism and the ways that are best to do so. The writer Ross Bonander suggests ways he feels are best, in order to give good constructive criticism (of which I have chosen a few):
- Get your facts straight. Your criticisms are only as credible as their source.
- Focus on what can be done, not what has been done. Refer to areas for improvement don’t dwell on inadequacies.
- Empathize. Consider empathy, we’ve all been there before, consider the persons feelings
So.. we should all be critical?
In a way, yes. While criticism is great in order to sustain personal relationships it is important to think about the situation when giving and receiving it. Being able to criticize effectively is a skill that shouldn’t be over-looked if you can appropriately give out constructive criticism people are more likely to thank you rather then resent you and being able to listen and hear other peoples criticisms can give us a view to improving ourselves on something we may have never even thought about.