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Is that criticism necessary?

criticismHaving dinner last night in a restaurant, on my way to the ladies room, I heard the manager criticize one of the waiters (obviously oblivious to me being behind them). The criticism was anything but beneficial, and, in fact, was just de-motivating, and only served to make the waiter angry.

So often, people are really good at criticizing, and in most cases it’s not usually very helpful. Redirection is so much different (and better!) than criticism: Here’s something that has happened, here’s how it has impacted things, here’s what would really help next time, and I’m still pleased with the overall job you’re doing. That’s actually helpful feedback.

On the flip side, there’s also a positive way to receive criticism—which this particular waiter was not doing. The best response to any kind of criticism is this: “Tell me more. Is there anyone else I should talk to? Oh, this is so helpful. Thank you.” By not getting defensive, you avoid getting your ego in the way—and you’ll usually blow your criticizer’s mind! He or she won't know how to respond.

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