Criticize Without Being Hated

by Infinity Concepts | Jul 1, 2013 | Leadership

Do you, or does anyone you know, like criticism?

If you are shaking your head or saying, “No, I don’t like it,” then you are in the majority.

Now ask yourself, have you ever criticized anyone about anything?

I think, without assuming too much, that everyone has been critical at one time or another. Many people hate criticizing other people’s work almost as much as they despise being critiqued, but many jobs require that it be done. So how can you do it without being hated by the “criticizee”?

The famous corporate trainer, Dale Carnegie, articulates that many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but” and end with a critical statement.  As an example, let’s say that you are trying to incorporate more color into someone else’s design after they have spent all day working on it. You might typically say, “I really like your design but I wish you could add more color to the project.”

Most people upon hearing the first part of that sentence will feel good and excited over the praise, but as soon as you add that small little word “but” people will automatically know that whatever follows is a criticism. The method where you praise and then criticize is commonly known as the Kiss and Kick management model. As you may know from experience that theory does not work very well at letting others feel good about your criticism.

What if you simply changed the word “BUT” to “AND”? That management technique is called the Kiss and Kiss model. Let’s try this again while incorporating our new technique. “I really like your design and adding more color to the project will complement your work even more.”  Doesn’t that sound and feel so much better?

If Kiss and Kick theory is not working for you, try the Kiss and Kiss model that gives out a compliment followed by a more positive, yet directive, compliment. Giving people positive encouragement will help you bring the best out of people.

Don’t make people feel bad by your poorly delivered criticism. You may get the work done, but end up on their naughty list.  Some people are so sensitive to direct criticism that they may quit after a few unknowingly harsh and negative remarks from their superior.

What does God say about criticism? Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”

So before you give out your criticism to anyone, ask yourself, are you judging them? Or are you trying to pull out the best from them. If you can avoid criticism, please do. If not, do it indirectly with the Kiss and Kiss method. That’s how to critique without being hated.

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