Understanding Criticism Part 2

13 Nov


Using criticism as a positive force to achieve goals and build strong relationships begins with understanding criticism. Therefore, it helps to know what criticism is.

To begin with, criticism is a vital part of our life. No one is exempt at any age. Second, it’s important to recognize that criticism is a negative form of communication. There is no way around that fact. No matter how hard we try to disguise criticism – whether by calling it positive feedback, constructive feedback, constructive criticism, or coaching skills, the content of criticism is negative.

Used poorly,  criticism can be very destructive.   However, in the hands of skilled givers and receivers the negativity inherent within criticism can be used as a powerful motivator, relationship-builder and performance-enhancer.

As Irving Babbitt, the noted American academic and literary critic, so eloquently wrote, “If we are to have…discipline we must have standards, and to get our standards under existing conditions we must have criticism.”


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