Straight talk – constructive criticism – is welcome in the workplace and as a volunteer. As a matter of giving back, I did some community service organization volunteering. As my kids were growing up I did a fair share of volunteering. For my kids, whether for Scouts, Basketball, Baseball, Football or family outings, I figured that volunteering was a way to force myself to do the things with my kids that I wanted to do anyhow.
Whether as an employer, or a volunteer, a pet peeve of mine is the person who says, “someone, they asked me not to say who, didn’t like “x”.” The peeve is not with the messenger. My automatic responses are generally 1) what do you think? and 2) tell them if they have a concern, they should share it with me. I welcome constructive criticism. The way to deal with concerns is to make them explicit, to examine them, and to find resolution.
That matter of fact approach isn’t cold. It’s realistic. Complaining to someone who is not in a position to change what you’re complaining about is just complaining. Complaining to someone who is in a position to change what you’re complaining about – in as positive a manner as you can muster – is constructive criticism. Complaining in hopes of changing outcomes is the mature, thoughtful approach to take, in my opinion.
I was reminded of my pet peeve about (the lack of) constructive criticism when I saw the following TED for Work talk, The Secret to Giving Great Feedback.
Humans have been coming up with ways to give constructive criticism for centuries, but somehow we’re still pretty terrible at it. Cognitive psychologist LeeAnn Renniger shares a scientifically proven method for giving effective feedback.
As one of the Organizers of Wisconsin Business Owners, I welcome your constructive criticism. Use our contact page or call me…preferably after you’ve viewed the video above.
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