Constructive criticism is valuable. When given correctly, it can bestow great benefit upon the receiver. Criticism is essential to academic achievement, business growth, child development, and just about any human endeavor worth pursuing. Criticism, when given with earnest intent, begets growth. Even the Bible mentions criticism and states that a wise person responds to reproach with love (Proverbs 9:8).
When you are on the giving end of constructive criticism, begin with self-reflection. Is your intention to help the person, group, or organization improve? It also helps to think abstractly and view the conversation from the receiver’s perspective. Good intentions on the part of the giver can easily be misconstrued by other parties when emotions are involved. Choose your words carefully, honestly, and objectively. A mature critic is looking for a productive, positive result. For more insight on how to criticize constructively, consider these expert tips:
When it comes to giving constructive criticism, a good question for self-reflection is this: Am I offering this reproach with love in my heart?
To receive gracefully, we must first learn to give gracefully (see above). Consider the importance of finding yourself on the receiving end of constructive criticism. When received well, criticism from a reputable source can serve as a springboard for self-improvement. Do you want to receive and employ criticism in a way that is productive to your character? Here are some published tips from our panel of experts:
Finding oneself on the receiving end of criticism can be tough, but the initial difficulty could give way to something wonderful. Good criticism (i.e. the constructive kind) presents an opportunity for personal growth. Remember to stay mature and consider the source when critics come to call. And if you’re on the giving end of a critique, keep it objective and remember that we’re all in this together. If someone offers a listening ear to your criticism, deliver it with the honest desire to help that person improve.
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