Dealing With Criticism

Few respond positively to criticism.

That’s why Dale Carnegie’s most famous human relations principle is “don’t criticize, condemn or complain”.

Yet we all do it.

And it still doesn’t work.

What about constructive criticism?

It’s like being a good teacher.  The message will not be heard until the person on the receiving end wants to hear it.

According to Gregg Walker, Department of Speech Communication at Oregon State University, here are some guidelines for the critic:

  • Understand why you are offering the criticism
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
  • Direct your criticism to the present not the past
  • Criticize the deed not the person

Guidelines for those on the receiving end of criticism:

  • Acknowledge criticism that focuses on your behavior
  • Work hard to avoid becoming defensive
  • Seek ownership of solutions
  • Use “I” messages to clearly communicate how you feel about the criticism

For more helpful guidelines, click here.

“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help” – Abraham Lincoln

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