How do you know when criticism isn’t working?

Cartoon of a dog washing dishes
Cartoon of a dog washing dishes and a man
Cartoon of a dog washing dishes. A man says to him, “You missed a spot.”

Criticism is the most popular way to teach someone something, isn’t it? When we someone who isn’t doing things the way we think they should, the most natural way to teach is to correct the individual.

So why do we hate criticism?

  • Because it can tear down a person if we’re not careful.
  • A small problem magnifies a huge problem.
  • Without some tact, we sound brutish and hurtful.
  • The receiver of criticism interprets it through the lens of past experiences.
    • Experience with the one who is criticizing
    • Experience with the task they’re being criticized for.

How can we correct a problem if criticism doesn’t work?

  • Be vulnerable. No one likes to receive criticism if the one sending it displays an air of perfection. People are much more receptive to criticism if we are honest about our own faults.
  • Choose your battles. Is it really worth pointing out that little spot when ninety-nine percent of the job was perfectly?
  • Point out the good more than the bad. It is easy to focus on the bad news, but who likes to hear it? A critical point goes further if most of the time we her positive comments.

How do you effectively use criticism in your business or with your kids?

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Author: Kevin Spear

I am a marketing professional with a design flair, based in Clayton, Ohio. I specialize in digital and content marketing that increases brand awareness for small businesses and nonprofits.

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