“ He has a right to criticize who has a heart to help”

By Gwyn Teatro via http://gwynteatro.wordpress.com/   Article

Putting the “Constructive” into Criticism

“Winston Churchill once said; ‘Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.’

Most leaders like to preface the word ‘criticism’ with the word ‘constructive’.  That makes its aim one of building rather than tearing down.  However, not all carry out the ‘constructive’ part well, which usually means the ‘criticism’ part is prone to cause an already ‘unhealthy state of things’ to deteriorate even further. … before we proceed to offer criticism, we must first put ourselves under some scrutiny by addressing our intent. For instance:

Why do I feel the need to criticize? ~ … If my criticism of you comes out of anger, frustration or another negative emotion then I’m using it to vent not to make things better.  So, first I must determine how my criticism might serve you in some way.

What, or who, am I concerned about? ~Similarly, if my criticism of you will make me feel better, then I’m probably doing it for the wrong reason.   Caring about people you lead often includes pointing out things to them that they cannot see for themselves. …

Am I prepared to listen? ~ … to make criticism useful to people on the receiving end, they have to know that we are willing to hear from them too.  Otherwise the information on which we base our judgment will be incomplete and in danger of being wrong, misconstrued, rationalized away or ignored. …

For me, sincerity is the only thing that matters, even if the delivery is a little rough. Abraham Lincoln said, ‘He has a right to criticize who has a heart to help'”

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