Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Constructive Criticism v. Destructive Criticism

Written By: Danielle Silva Heckenkamp

How do you deal with criticism?

Is there a certain type of personality that deals with criticism better than others?

We all know that critical opinions are a fact of life and oftentimes they can be given in a charitable and constructive way, but then again they can also be used as a defense or barrier for others to hide behind. We are all willing to dish out the critical comments, but more times than not, it is extremely difficult to acknowledge them, let alone accept them.

It is a trait of human beings to pounce on any and every opportunity when it comes to judging others. It either makes us feel better about ourselves or helps us justify our actions by comparing and  contrasting our virtues and vices. It should not be this way! It is easy to dish out the critical comments but it is another thing to accept them as constructive.

There is definitely a difference between constructive and destructive criticism. A person who has secure beliefs and a high level of self-esteem will be able to notice the difference. They will be able to take those constructive comments and put them to good use by improving any mistakes, but those who are unwilling to appreciate such well-meant opinions will struggle for the rest of their lives barely floating above the tide.

Four Ways to Determine Whether a Criticism is Constructive or Destructive

1.  If the comment made critically points out personal flaws of a person only with the intention to showcase failures then this is destructive criticism.

2. If the feelings of other people are not part of the consideration process when expressing an opinion, then it is most definitely destructive criticism

3. If the opinions are charitable, but firm, then this correction has validity and is a form of constructive criticism.

4.  If the comment makes a suggestion and then provides a tangible solution, it is an excellent form of constructive criticism