Seeking and responding to honest feedback/constructive criticism in the workplace.

Do you know what they say about criticisms? It’s the best way to appraise yourself/your job without the narcissistic approach. 

Even to big companies, feedbacks are imperative; that is why they spam you with emails and messages, always asking you to leave one for them. In the same way, we also need feedbacks in the home (from relatives, parents/children), at school (assessments and quiz), and most importantly, in the workplace through appraisals, memos, and the rest.

In as much as everyone wants acknowledgment for doing the right thing, for making the right suggestion, taking the correct initiative, having the best analysis at work, it will be foolhardy to go on without some constructive feedback.

If you learn the art of receiving and taking constructive criticism well, you will not only turn out to become a better version of yourself but will also learn a great deal about how to do perfect self-examinations.  

Tips on the best ways to offer criticisms

Giving constructive criticisms/feedbacks could be quite a delicate task; You must be sure that it is coming with a good reason.

  • Be sure of the reason you are giving the feedback.

The reason for the feedback is everything; in fact, the reason for your feedback directly affects the way the receiver will accept it. Here are the wrong reasons to give feedback

  • To back up/ excuse yourself from a behavior.
  • To castigate and demoralize.
  • To please a third party.
  • Out of spite/malice
  • To look superior. 

Here are benevolent reasons to give feedback;

  • True commitment and concern
  • Help the person to improve.
  • Sense of duty and responsibility

It is best to make no comments if you are not in the right state or with a good reason to give feedback.

  • The problem should remain the subject of circumspection.

When criticizing a matter, do not veer off the topic or the bone of contention by attacking the ‘individual.’

Focusing on the problem is the best way for your criticisms to sink and have its effect rather than criticizing the person. If you excoriate a person directly, they’ll take it as a personal attack and feel affronted. For example, instead of telling an offending player: you’re evil for that challenge, you could say: “hey, that’s a terrible foul you committed there!”

  • Make your criticisms inclusive.

When you start your criticisms, it is nice if you can begin with a self-examining question; it will make the recipient feel like a fellow critique rather than a ‘terrible’ person.

In the workplace, rather than criticizing a job done, you could say: “how do you think this would have looked if we had used this method (a better method” or “I don’t know how this method would compete with the one you used, do you know?” Any of these would be better than you saying: “No! Your methods are wrong!”

  • Use the “Criticism Sandwich”

From general sayings, we know that “No method/actions are 100% wrong, a stopped clock is correct twice a day” this is what psychologists call the criticism sandwich.

 Use the criticism sandwich when giving someone feedback; be lenient on the results of their actions, and bring out some of the positives. 

For example, you could say: “while your methods would be great for a gargantuan project, unfortunately, we don’t have such funding” or “your methods have successfully shown us how to tackle the A of our problems, now we just need a way to solve the Z.”

This way, the person doesn’t feel too terrible and downcast about the whole situation and tries to correct himself where he has failed.

How to receive criticism

Criticisms are the best way to do a self-evaluation without a narcissistic opinion/sentiments

  • Listen! Avoid arguments or denials

Our instincts to criticism most of the time is to defend ourselves immediately; it is wrong. When you ask for criticism, the next best thing you can do is to listen; this is the only way to get the full list.  

Good listening will not only help you understand the criticism better, but it will help you to see the undertones hidden in the gist.

  • Be Open-minded and ask for criticisms regularly.

When you ask for feedback often, they will no longer terrify you because you will most likely be expecting them anyway. Also, when you ask for feedback regularly, it will be easier to correct decisions at the infant level rather than them developing to become a catastrophe.

  • Be specific when you ask for feedback.

Asking a person for general feedbacks most times can be confusing and lead them to make vague and general criticisms; in the end, the problem remains. For example, instead of asking for total feedback about your job in the office, you could ask: “how was my presentation last week?” or “could you rate my performance to the last project?”

  • Act on the feedback and grow

Feedback will only be complete and helpful when you act on it. When you get negative feedback, do not feel downcast or spiteful towards the person, but be grateful to the person; such people have your best interests at heart. 

See constructive criticisms as the “thorns that help the Rose petals to blossom.” Be grateful to the giver of the feedback, and make the necessary adjustments in your work.

Reasons you must accept feedbacks;

It translates to effective listening:

The ability to take negative feedback and act on them shows how mentally-mature you are. And rather than hate you for it, other people will love you. Receiving feedback is the best way to communicate better.

Feedback improves your performance:

The fastest way to grow/spot an issue is to act constructively to feedback. Your employers are the people who need your service, and only they should decide when they are pleased with it.

Feedbacks are good for progressive learning.

“The day we stop learning is the day we start dying.” 

Learning doesn’t only entail reading books, journals, or learning skills. Learning from the feedback we get is another great form of it. 

Wrapping Up

As an entrepreneur, employee, member of a group, or student, feedbacks and constructive criticisms are the best way to evaluate the public perception of the goods/service you offer, and a mentally-mature person welcomes them with gratitude. Also, a proper evaluation of your services will help you to make improvements, deductions, and cuts where necessary.