Saturday, August 30, 2008

What is constructive criticisms and how to handle it

Opinions and criticisms are the part of life. They’re a dime a dozen. They are not always welcomed. Sometimes they change things

for the better and sometimes they make someone seem like a useless windbag.

Constructive criticism indicators

>It is calm
>It’s often preceded by a moment of silence in which actual thought and observation are occuring
>It’s not snarky, sarcastic, mean, antagonistic, evil, belittling or anus-like in any way
>It’s often accompanied by concentration in the form of chin rubbing and thoughtful frowning (not to be confused with mean, jerk-frowning)
>It is on-point and on-purpose, meaning it directly applies to the project at hand
>It is not personal or directed towards a personality (yours or anyone’s)
>It is results-oriented
>There more nouns and verbs than adjectives
>It is more fact based than opinion based
>It is often accompanied by good conversation whereby further solutions and ideas are ironed out
>There is usually a lot of head nodding and often a smile and handshake at the end
When it’s all over you know what the next step is and are excited to carry it forward
>You usually feel like saying, “Thank you” at the end.

How to take constructive criticism

1. Be quiet
2. Listen

Preferably, if you can swing it, do both at the same time.

If you’re on the road to greatness yourself, excellent criticism can certainly help shorten the runway. That’s how you take constructive criticism. Constructive criticism sucks sometimes. Even with the best intentions behind it, criticism can make you feel defensive, or like your project or skills are no good. A whole gamut of emotions can result, but if it is indeed well-intentioned, you should take it in stride and glean whatever you can from it.

You could decide instead not to listen, not to learn anything, not to pay attention. Those are options for sure. But they’re the ones that won’t get you anywhere. Whatever your station in life, whatever your career, there’s a lot to learn. There are a lot of people out there who are great at what they do. If you’re on the road to greatness yourself, excellent criticism can certainly help shorten the runway.

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