There’s no such thing as constructive criticism

Its that time of year again when managers deliver annual performance reviews.  Over my career, I've been shocked on how few managers have the leadership skill to properly deliver constructive criticism. This morning, I came across an interesting column by Tony Schwartz on hbr.org about mistakes we make in delivering criticism.

constructive criticism

He makes the point that in most cases what we say is less important than how we say it.

Here's a question guaranteed to make your stomach lurch: “Would you mind if I gave you some feedback?”

What that actually means is “Would you mind if I gave you some negative feedback, wrapped in the guise of constructive criticism, whether you want it or not?”

The problem with criticism is that it challenges our sense of value. Criticism implies judgment and we all recoil from feeling judged. As Daniel Goleman has noted, threats to our esteem in the eyes of others are so potent they can literally feel like threats to our very survival.

The conundrum is that feedback is necessary. It's the primary means by which we learn and grow. So what's the best way to deliver it in a way that it provides the greatest value — meaning the recipient truly absorbs and acts on it?

Tony goes on to list the 3 mistakes everyone makes.  Its a good read

RELATED POSTS:  Disagree at your own risk

continued at  HRB.org

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