Criticism without hope will lead to contempt.Criticism with hope will spawn creativity.
It’s way easier to give the criticism than to receive it, but we all need helpful, loving, critical feedback in order to grow and change. We can be more receptive to hearing critical feedback if we feel secure, valued, cared about, and loved. If you hope for the best in and for me, you can say a whole lot to me, including critical thoughts.
Tips for giving critical feedback:
- Ask for permission to share. “Are you open to me giving you some feedback about the situation?” If the answer is no, “will you let me know when you are ready?” Give it 24 hours, and ask permission again.
- Tell them what you hope for in sharing the feedback. “I hope we can avoid this particular pitfall in the future.”
- Be on their team. “Here is what I want for us.” Rather than “you need to do ‘this and/or that’.”
- Ladle it with kindness. Don’t feel kindness towards the other person? Don’t share the feedback.
- After sharing, ask for feedback about how you gave your feedback. “Did you feel like I was on your team?” “How could I have said this better to help you not feel attacked?”
Trying to enact change in relationships takes a lot of time, consistency, grace, and love. And love is inefficient.