Feedback vs Criticism

“There is no such thing as constructive criticism. After all, when was the last time someone asked you if you wanted some constructive criticism and you knew it was going to be good news? However, feedback is valuable when it honors the relationship.”

I have gotten a lot of push back on this statement. What is the difference between criticism and feedback? Mainly it is how the receiver feels after the message is delivered. Feedback makes us feel we did a valuable bit of work and with a few additions, it will be better. With criticism, we feel defensive, defeated, and demotivated. AS if everything is wrong.

Ok, it is up to us on how we will respond to feedback but I find it hard to hear the message when I feel my effort was a “waste of time”.

How do we give feedback that honors the relationship? Do you like and respect this person? Do you think their work has value? If yes, make sure you message expresses this. Ask questions such as, “What do you mean when you say, xxx?” Not, “Are you saying yyy?”

The best feedback is when it helps us discover a new view and learn something.

This takes integrity, truth and awareness. If you give feedback when you think you have to or when it is your job or you think someone is wrong, people will be resentful.

As a consultant, I have learned not to give feedback unless someone asks for it. Then, they might be listening.

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