Managing Criticism: A Self-Help Guide; Learning Healthy Techniques For Giving And Receiving Criticism

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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.


We are all critics. That is why it is important to learn the correct ways to give and receive criticism.
We are all critics. That is why it is important to learn the correct ways to give and receive criticism. | Source
When talking one on one, it is important to talk in a positive manner away from others. A walk is a great time to cool down and talk about any issues.
When talking one on one, it is important to talk in a positive manner away from others. A walk is a great time to cool down and talk about any issues. | Source
Not all criticism is negative. Sometimes there are misunderstandings and errors. This is why positive communication is vital to settle any disputes.
Not all criticism is negative. Sometimes there are misunderstandings and errors. This is why positive communication is vital to settle any disputes. | Source

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

We all say things we don't mean and act out in a negative manner when we are angry. This is why it is important to calm down before talking.
We all say things we don't mean and act out in a negative manner when we are angry. This is why it is important to calm down before talking. | Source
In some situations, you may be confronted as a group. The same rules apply. Stay calm, relax, listen, and make corrections.
In some situations, you may be confronted as a group. The same rules apply. Stay calm, relax, listen, and make corrections. | Source
You want to always make sure that you use correct tones when speaking to one another. Never scream or shout out in anger.
You want to always make sure that you use correct tones when speaking to one another. Never scream or shout out in anger. | Source

RECEIVING 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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Comments 26 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 4 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I find that if I critique in the form of a question then it may seem part of a discussion rather than complaint...it seems that some people see criticism as a complaint...something like shouldn't you put a comma there...rather than to state...you need to put a comma there.Plus I never criticize unless I may benefit...I rarely criticize for another persons benefit unless it helps a third party,then I will advise the third party as to deal with a situation if possible.;-))

I think this issue is always an important one as you've intelligently put forth Ricky.;-))


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

If more people were able to view criticism as an opportunity for growth, they might be able to react less viscerally constructive criticism. As you've pointed out here, the timing and manner of delivery of constructive criticism is also important to the outcome of the interaction.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Mentalist, thanks for coming by and leaving some thoughtful information. I agree. Interesting perspective. I think most of us try to give constructive criticism, but of course, we are much better giving it them receiving it. As for what you inhabit, that is a great way about giving it. Best wishes.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Great suggestions that can go a long way to clearing up misunderstandings and also for helping someone take responsibility for their actions if they have indeed made a mistake. It is always best to own up to it and apologize.

I agree that if at all possible, criticism should not be given until all parties have had a time to cool off.

Voted up, useful and interesting.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A very useful hub and thanks for sharing.

Take care,

Eddy.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

L, thanks for coming by and for adding your expertise. Your absolutely right. Instead of learning and growing, people often take it as some form of punishment and the experience becomes negative. In most cases, growth is there to take place. Well said.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

HBN, thanks for taking the time to drop by and read this article. I agree, very important. There is usually untrue facts and misunderstandings in most situations. We all make mistakes. This offers a chance to solve an issue and appologize.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Eddy, thanks for coming by and for commenting. I am glad you thought it was useful. Hope all is well. Happy holidays and best wishes.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your hub is informative and useful. I especially liked the don't be judgemental section..Thank you for sharing..


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Great hub and very informative. Thanks for the great job you did. I actually like criticism if it's offered the right way because if I agree with what's suggested then I learn something I didn't know before and I can redo something that I've done the wrong way. Hope you have a great New Year!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub. It takes a very mature mind to receive criticism and realize that it is usually given by people who generally care for you as a person. I wish our children could understand that when we give it is because we care. Of course you have those who just think they are right about everything.. This was a wonderful, well written read.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

TLW,always a timely reminder, we all have pretty thin skins when it comes to criticism from someone who matters in our life. Thanks Cred2


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

AE, thanks for coming by and for leaving a comment. I am glad that you consider it useful. Hope you have a great day and take care. Catch you later.


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi lyricwriter

Great advice. I have no problem taken responsibility for my mistakes.

What I have to work on is not getting defensive when I am wrongly accused.

Also, I have a pet peeve about those who criticize for the sake of criticizing.

Voted up and awesome.

Happy New Year!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Gypsy, thanks for coming by. Great perspective on criticism. Always keep it a positive. Hope you have a great New Years also:) Take care.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Tammy, thanks for taking the time to read this article. You are absolutely right. I really think if we could teach our children criticism exercises when they are young, it may help them develop such skills earlier then what they usually do. Best wishes and thanks Tammy.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Cred2, thanks for coming by and for your expertise. You are right, especially with the loved ones and close friends in our life. It makes it a vital reason to understand criticism.

Sueswan, thanks for taking the time to come by and for being a loyal friend. Just want you to know I appreciate all your time. That is a great quality to have Sueswan. That is actually a intelligent quote:) Best wishes and Happy New Year to you also.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A great informative hub Ricky. It is so easy to open your mouth and jump in without thinking first. I used to be a little hot headed, but I have learned to walk away and take some time out before aproaching the problem.

Its the same here on hubpages, it is accepted easier if someone says ' maybe your poem might read better if you made this little change' instead of 'It could have been a good poem but is far too long and too clunky.

Critisism is always helpful if it is given in the right manner.

Avery good hub


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

P.S I haven't had the opportunity to wish you happy New Year yet. So heres wishing you a wonderful year ahead.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Rosemay, thinks for taking the time to stop by. I agree, if it is giving in the correct manner, it is very helpful. I also believe that we have to know who we are given it to also. Very important. Some can take it and other really can't. Hope you have a great New Year as well Rosemay. Cheers.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I think being critiqued, if done constructively, is a necessary part of improvement. Voting this Up and Interesting.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Alcsin, thanks for dropping by. I agree. It really helps a lot when it is constructive. Look, listen, and learn.


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

This hub should be read by everyone! Speaking for myself, I feel as if it was written especially for me. Very recently, I've engaged myself in an online conversation in which I've learned a lot about myself - I failed in giving constructive criticism and receiving negative criticism, as well. Although the people with whom I started a flaming war (undeliberately) aren't at all better, I found their scornful comments to affect my future life and behavior in a positive way (although it was a bit painful experience). Especially, because a person whom I appreciate very much felt offended by my criticism. Well, it was a lesson to be learned. I'm saving this for future reference and I'll come back often to remind myself of the proper way to communicate. Thank you!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Vox, thanks again for dropping by. I am glad you found it useful. It is an article that can relate to us all. Meaning to or not, we can often give harsh criticism. When we receive it, we usually take it in a negative manner. It is very important to begin by a positive comment first. For example, "This is a great article, but I have a few suggestions". We all are guilty of giving it and receiving it. Until we learn that it is beneficial, as you have, we will continue to ignore it and view it negatively.


vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago

I came back to say that I've learned a lot about commenting and giving constructive criticism since the first time I read this hub. Your hub inspired me then, and now I wanted to repeat the lesson. I enjoyed reading it again :)


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia Author

Vox, thanks for taking a second look at this article. Glad you found some inspiration. I believe many people take criticism to their heart, instead of learning from it. We all have. We help ourselves when we take it with open arms. Thanks again Jasmine.

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