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How to learn how to make constructive criticism and self-improvement?


The ability to criticize in a constructive and adequate way to perceive criticism is an important quality of normal communication in any team. Constructive criticism helps to improve in time, to make work better. But it often covers envy and negative criticism. And it disorganizes and demotivates. Particularly sensitive people suffer from self-esteem: "Since the work is poorly done, then I'm bad at everything."

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How to distinguish constructive criticism from envy and destructive criticism

Envy hides the lack of criticism of something that the critic is. With a negative assessment, a person tries to redirect his negative emotions arising from envy. With this, he is trying to somehow reduce internal stress. In destructive criticism, there is an intention to humiliate a person, to devalue his work. The motives are different: competition, self-affirmation, human selfishness.

Constructive criticism specifically points out a mistake, backed up by obvious arguments: “Your report is superficial and incomplete. The first and second sections are not enough numbers and examples, add. You can take a report from your colleague for a sample". In addition, often a person is given some advice or recommendation "as needed" or "as not necessary."

In envy and destructive criticism, on the contrary, everything is very vague, generalized and subjective: “Your report is superficial and incomplete. I do not like him. Here are your colleagues - well done. Reports always do well unlike you».

In constructive criticism, emphasis is placed on work: either its process or result is evaluated. For example, "the report is not compiled as it should, you incorrectly format the tables" or "the report is not compiled correctly, not enough numbers».

In envy and destructive criticism - an emphasis on the personality of the criticized. For example, "you do not know how to make reports. It's all because of your distraction and irresponsibility».

How to respond to destructive criticism

If criticism is destructive, the main thing is not to react excessively emotionally. Remember, a negative assessment comes from "unkind" motives. A violent response will aggravate the situation: you give rise to additional labels and accusations against you. The critic’s conviction instantly turns on: “I knew it!“Not only has the work been done inappropriately, but with your emotional outbursts, you are not doing your best. Behave calmly and turn on self-control.

In the case of destructive criticism, require specific arguments and evidence: where is the error, what is it, how wide is the scale of the miss. Just keep track of the conversation so that criticism does not slip into personal accusations.
You can use the "Show how to" technique. If a person criticizing you can evaluate your work, then he is in some way an expert. Start like this: "Is my rating negative? I understand that you are a pro in this matter. Be my mentor in that case. Show an example. I will be very pleased to learn from you". And then follow the reaction of the critic.

In the case of constructive criticism, I also recommend reacting not too emotionally. If they talk about obvious miscalculations and mistakes, then they give a chance to learn how to do something better and not stand still. Listen carefully to the person you are talking to and thank him. Clarify how you should and do not need to do it, who in the future ask for advice on where to read and what to see.

How to criticize yourself constructively

Criticize a person’s work or behavior, but not his personality at all. It should be noted that it is completed and does not look according to the rules. But in no case do not evaluate a person for his character traits.

If you criticize, then point to specific and obvious facts. They really see, hear, check. Too generalized and vague criticism is more like accusations and prejudice.

If you criticize, suggest an alternative. A person understands what is wrong. But often does not know how to. To hope that he will guess is stupidity. Thoughts to read, we still do not know how. It is necessary to tell concretely and clearly what the work should look like, what can and cannot be in it. Criticism is constructive only when a person is given the opportunity to improve and do a better job.

If you criticize constructively, start with the good points. Tell us what the person performed well and truly, what you like. And then indicate what to fix.
Do not find fault with trifles. Criticize for a serious mistake that will negatively affect the whole work or the work of other people. Pettiness is perceived as nitpicking.

Criticize with such intonation that the person perceives this as an opportunity to learn how to do the job better. But not as an accusation and hitting. Just think not only what you say, but how. It is a tone: whether it will be said strictly or with anger and contempt in his voice.

What criticism is capable of

In fact, much depends on the personality’s attitude to criticism that under the guise of an avalanche hit its psyche!

Yes, for some individuals it can become a kind of reason for revealing personal growth and potential, but for most it is a real destabilizing factor that literally blocks attempts to adequately assess the comments received.

We perceive the world and the environment through the prism of our touchy Ego, that every time someone dares to encroach on the sacred, namely on the significance of ideas, ideas or personal qualities, he is drawn into battle in order to punish the offender!

For this reason, not a reasonable reaction to criticism can destroy relations not only with colleagues, where battles are one of the most effective ways to form an ideal idea, but also relations with close family members.

There is more than one example of how people experienced serious failures and unsuccessful ways to present themselves to the world only because they were spared by critics. And also, not one example is how individuals panicky avoided successful projects, because of the expectation of a flurry of comments, and therefore did not get down to business.

I think that in order to build an optimal protective layer for criticism, it is necessary to understand its types, thereby understanding the essence of the origin of reactions to what has been said.

Constructive criticism

Criticism of the constructive type is primarily aimed at helping people. You voice your sincere opinion in order to give a qualitative assessment of actions, ways of thinking and position, to be useful, and not to elevate yourself above the individual.

Often, this type of criticism is expressed through concrete, objective analysis or in the form of unobtrusive advice. These may be recommendations, examples from personal life, or even the basis of your colossal experience.

But by what signs or hints can you accurately determine how you are criticized?

2. Concrete

A critic who chooses constructive tactics will avoid the wording “Everything is bad!”. He will point you to details or points that cause him confusion, uncertainty or doubt.

For example, he may say this: “At this point, I suppose, problems may arise because facts or arguments speak of. "

Destructive criticism and causes

Destructive criticism is an empty expression of a negative opinion without an explicit mission or even with selfish goals. In this type of criticism, the person is so unwilling to help the opponent that he reduces the entire content of the chatter to an indication of oversights and dullness. But why is this happening and what are the main reasons?

  • The desire to manipulate a person and use his actions for their own purposes,
  • the search for shortcomings can be caused by bouts of envy for a successful start,
  • trust in the process, which means the desire to emphasize its importance and exalt itself in the eyes of the interlocutor,
  • the desire to assert oneself at the expense of another, to feel like an expert in the matter,
  • selfishness, obstinacy and disrespect for people,
  • the reason for the destructive is the difference in the idea of ​​the individual from the rest of the proposals that could put forward the masses.

It is important to be able to correctly respond to all types of criticism in order to improve and move on through life with your head held high!

Correct reaction

  • Maintain your self-esteem with positive affirmations and don’t get lost,
  • be sure to separate your own emotions from what is said from the tips and recommendations,
  • find a way to believe in yourself
  • think over your answer before reacting to destructive criticism, try not to fall into the trap and control the emotional intensity. Remember that the provocateur needs you to fall out of balance,
  • if all people criticize the same thing, but in different ways, then think about it and don’t take statements to heart,
  • keep calm, use rational thinking and smile, it always disarms!

Subscribe to updates, and in the comments tell us about how your criticism is built? What are you focusing on?

What is constructive criticism?

Constructive criticism is cautious disapproval, criticism or advice. This form of criticism exists to help a person become better and not to offend his self-esteem. It is rather a friendly attitude in which criticism is not directed at a person’s personality.

Scientists say that harsh criticism causes a negative emotional outburst, which leads to even more errors and guilt.

Learn to communicate in a friendly manner and not lower the self-esteem of the interlocutor. There are several techniques for this.

Apply sandwich technique

It allows you to eliminate all the negative consequences of feedback. Its structure is quite simple:

  1. Start by listing your strengths.. Each person has them, including he has some achievements.
  2. Give feedback. Tell us about what needs to be improved in the work of a person. Keep calm.
  3. Close the dialog (monologue). End the conversation by listing the benefits that a person will receive if he listens to you.

Note that this technique does not allow any negative phrases. You focus the interlocutor's attention on his past successes and indicate what to do so that they continue in the future.

Use the Transparency, Engagement, Improvement structure

The sandwich technique is not applicable in many situations, so you can also use the PVA structure. It is more multifaceted and suitable to give feedback to almost every person.

  1. Start. Start a conversation. Be honest and honest about a problem that bothers you.
  2. Describe the problem. As short as possible.
  3. Share your strategy. Describe to the person exactly how you are going to discuss the problem.
  4. Outline the proposed process. Insist that steps seven through twelve are most important.
  5. Give feedback. Ask the person if he agrees with this structure or if something needs to be changed.
  6. Initiation. Actually, the beginning.
  7. Description of the problem. Describe what is bothering you about the problem.
  8. Tell us about the details.. The description of the overall picture is quite useful, but the devil is in the details, so point to them.
  9. Give feedback. Finish your monologue and engage the person in the conversation.
  10. Get Feedback. Listen to the opinion of the person.
  11. Get Consent. If consent is obtained, discuss in detail what the person will do soon.
  12. Tell us about the improvement.. Do not forget to tell the person what benefits he personally will receive.
  13. Close call.

The technique seems complicated only at first glance. The main thing is to say in advance what the conversation will be and how it will proceed in order to avoid surprises.

Maintain the ratio: hope / dream / criticism

There are three elements that must be in harmony during constructive criticism. Each person hopes for something and dreams of something. Indicate that he will be able to get all this if he works on himself. Any imbalance in this structure will lead to the fact that a person will either become unsure of himself or too self-confident and it is already not clear what is worse.

Find out what motivates a person. This is the first thing to think about.

Stay neutral: leave your emotions

No one is immune from the fact that he is not overwhelmed by emotions. Even if you have carefully thought out everything, a person can respond with some aggression. And if this hooks you, a skirmish will begin.

In no case do not allow this. Prior to the dialogue, put your emotions in order and decide in advance how you will react in case of aggression of the interlocutor.

Use exact wording

Try to put your review into a few specific points. Avoid common phrases and speak only about certain aspects of the work, and not about everything in general. Try to focus on how to improve the work, and not on what mistakes were made in it.

Your task is to help the person to improve, and not to make him feel awkward. It is important to encourage the interlocutor and show him that there is nothing wrong with his mistakes and that he can easily deal with them.