By: Narcizo Ramirez
Daily, we often see criticism in different aspects of our lives as well as sometimes even criticizing other people ourselves. Criticism tends to be a judgmental sense of disapproval towards an individual or their actions often in a rude or unprofessional manner. In professional environments, criticism is looked down upon and is replaced by another form of critiquing model known as constructive criticism in which is intended for making a positive change. Constructive criticism is an effective way of giving feedback which focuses directly on the situation at hand and how to improve it. Receiving constructive criticism can often be hard on the person being critiqued as it’s intended to point out their weaknesses and areas for improvement; the feedback being delivered should always be in a positive, respectful manner towards the other person. Since the purpose of constructive criticism is to improve areas of weaknesses by pointing out the issues/problems at hand, the received feedback can become a vital tool for self-improvement.
An important aspect to have in the professional environment is being open-minded to constructive criticism and attempting to implement a change once the feedback is received. Nowadays the younger generations are often seen as being “soft” or unable to take any form of criticism without lashing out at those providing the feedback. Those who cannot be criticized or simply talk back as a defensive mechanism are missing out on an opportunity to better themselves as they’re receiving both relatable and helpful feedback which can be used for improvement in specific areas. Constructive criticism should be honest towards the recipient as well as providing actionable suggestions to implement a change and descriptive, specific examples in which highlight the areas for improvement for the individual being critiqued. Not only is constructive criticism just about identifying the problem, but it’s also about working towards minimizing future problems by locating the issue and making changes in order to better improve the situation at large.
Those being critiqued should keep in mind they are not in trouble but are rather being pulled aside to address issues and or problems which can be fixed. The person providing the constructive feedback is not only addressing a problem, but they are also providing insight on the issue and how they themselves would suggest fixing it if they were in the other person’s shoes. Overall, the two parties involved while giving or receiving constructive criticism are there in order to better the other party and resolve any fixable issues.
Helpful Tips for Providing Constructive Criticism
• Avoid making assumptions
• Give descriptive recommendations
• Use the “I” language technique (I think, I suggest, I would, etc.)
• Be considerate of emotions/feelings
• Provide reassurance/support
Helpful Tips for Receiving Constructive Criticism
• Listen closely
• Remain open-minded about the situation
• Ask questions
• Do not take it personally
• Embrace the “grind” (look forward to bettering yourself)
Without constructive criticism, it’s very unlikely that an individual will implement a change by themselves as it often takes an outside source or viewer to analyze and evaluate the situation before a problem is addressed. There may be certain issues or problems in which a person creates without realizing they are causing an issue; therefore, constructive criticism is an effective system to identify and potentially change any issues at hand by offering positive feedback. In terms of criticism, it is not ideal to use the traditional form of criticism as it usually only resorts to making negative comments about a situation without attempting to implement a change for the future. By being only negative towards the situation and the person who’s created the situation/issue, it’ll lower the chances of change as by solely being negative it offers no room for improvement as well as suggestions or thoughts for how to better the situation.
About Omaha Skills Connection
Omaha Skills Connection is a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Omaha, Nebraska
established as a result of the post pandemic era to help bridge the skills gap between
education, technology and today’s workforce. Omaha needs an educated, flexible and dynamic
workforce in today’s knowledge-based economy. OSC connects talent to opportunity,
modernizing employee development for today’s workforce.