Managing Criticism: A Self-Help Guide; Learning Healthy Techniques For Giving And Receiving Criticism
In this article, you will learn positive and healthy ways to give criticism and receive criticism. For those of you that are in the business sector, criticism is usually constant. Criticism can be either negative or positive. In some cases, it can be a little of both. Learning how to deal with criticism is very important.
There are two forms of criticism, constructive and deconstructive. Constructive criticism is given in a constructive manner, more thought out and given in a positive way. The focus is on improving the content of work or behavior of a person while avoiding to attack the source of the work or behavior. Deconstructive criticism is criticism that is not structured and given in a negative way. It says that it is impossible for any text to communicate a fixed or stable meaning.
Criticism affects everyone differently. Some people deal with criticism very well while others have difficulty when it comes to criticism. Learning how to give and take criticism in a positive manner is crucial. This is especially true when it comes to your employment. It is also important to use these methods in your personal time also.
GIVING POSITIVE CRITICISM
When you begin to criticize someone or something, make sure you do this in a positive manner. The following steps will help you learn how to handle such situations in a positive way. By following these steps, you will be better prepared to give positive criticism.
- Control your emotions- How many times do we say things that we don't mean when we are angry? You want to make sure you control your emotions before you speak to someone. If you are the type that gets angry and automatically jumps into criticism, take a walk and calm down. You need to make sure you are calm before you get into your conversation. If it takes you a day or two to completely calm down, let it be. Learn what helps you calm down and apply it to these situations. The same thing can be said to the person you are talking to also. They may be angry and they may say things that they don't mean. If they are angry and acting out, you need to wait and give the situation time to cool down. Let the person calm down before you attempt to talk to them. When both parties are calm, you can then lead into the discussion.
- Choosing the right time- Remember, you want to come off in a positive manner when you criticize. Even if the reasoning is negative, you can still give it in a positive way. Such conversations should be take place at the right time and right place. Always make sure other people are not around and not able to hear your conversation. You want to go behind closed doors where it is just you and them. If you are speaking to more then one person and it is logical to speak to the group, just make sure others are not aware and that they can't hear the discussion. When you get to this point, if the person or persons are not calm, do not attempt to talk to them. The same goes for you. If you are still heated, wait until you have calmed down and then begin talking.
- Make sure everything is clear- You want to make sure everyone is on common ground before you decide to speak to them. You want to make sure no mistakes have been made and that there hasn't been a misunderstanding. Accidents and mistakes do happen and will happen. If there has been a mistake or misunderstanding, this time gives you both an opportunity to apologize. If they have made an error, they can apologize for it and if you have made the mistake, then you have the chance to apologize as well. If there hasn't been a mistake or misunderstanding, make sure everybody is clear and understands what is going on. When both parties are on the same playing field, it helps everyone involved understand more clearly and it gives you the chance to make corrections.
- Making the corrections- At this point and time, you can begin working to correct problems that have occurred because of the person or their behavior. You want to make sure the person looks at this from your perspective. This helps them see the error from your point of view and they can understand it better that way. Remember to be confident, but do so in a positive way. If there can't be a compromise, take the appropriate action. If you have followed the steps and actions, then you have did all that you can.
GREAT BOOKS TO READ ON CRITICISM
There are also steps that you can follow when someone is criticizing you also. Learning these steps can help you deal with criticism in a positive manner and it will help you in future events also. Even if the criticism is negative, the following will teach you how to deal with criticism.
- Staying cool, calm, and collective- When you get in trouble for something, we naturally tense up or get nervous. Some people can controls these emotions better then others. You need to try to relax and stay calm. Use techniques such as counting or taking deep breaths to calm down and relax. There is a high possibility that the person may be angry or difficult to deal with. If they are, you need to speak up and ask them if you can talk about this later. Everyone says things that they don't mean when they are mad. You need to express this point to them. Their anger and negative actions can make you think negative and say negative things as well. This only builds a disastrous situation that will have a negative outcome. If this happens, both parties need to part and the discussion can happen later. If it can't, remember to stay calm.
- Listen to their criticism- You want to listen to the person and let them get in what they need to say. You need to make sure that you show them that you understand what they are saying. Do not interrupt them when they are talking. You want to give them time to say everything that they need to say. You can show them that you are listening and understanding them by repeating what they said. When they are finished speaking, then you can give your side of the story or say what you need to say. Remember to be positive and respectful when you are talking to them.
- Corrections and apologies- You want to make sure that all information is correct and that there hasn't been a mistake made. If you have made a mistake, you need to apologize. After you apologize, you need to take the appropriate measurements to not make the mistake again. If you are not sure how too, then ask so you can completely understand what has occurred. If you are not at fault, don't get negative. Everyone makes mistakes. You want to come out of this situation with all corrections made.
- Don't be judgemental- When we are called out for a mistake, we may tend to judge the person that criticized us. We may tend to hold a grudge against the person. There is nothing that will come out of this in a positive manner. If anything, this is only a negative action. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone does things that they don't mean. Try to make every correction that is needed so the event never happens again. Always use positive manners when speaking to someone. If you made the mistake, acknowledge it and move on.
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