“Value those who give you constructive criticism, because without them doing so, you will never reach the peak of what you are do.” – Unarine Ramaru
Recently, while conducting some research on the art of constructive criticism, it became clear fairly quickly that many experts, leaders, teachers, parents and even me are divided on its benefits.
In short, constructive criticism is supposed to help improve a person, a project, an initiative, a circumstance, you name it. And in some cases, I suppose it does.
But we’re all human, and when there are people involved you can bet that their emotions will soon follow. Natural emotions that our body triggers as soon as we sense that some part of who we are is being challenged.
That brings about a certain level of defensiveness, many times expressed with negative undertones, and suddenly that constructive criticism isn’t so “constructive” after all.
Personally, I struggle taking sides on the matter.
If done right, by someone possessing strong social skills and a compassionate heart, I can see where providing constructive feedback can be truly impactful and inspiring.
But left to someone who is more concerned with being right and flexing their dominance over another person, the results are quite the opposite.
Shiv Khera once said, “Wise people prefer to benefit from constructive criticism rather than be ruined by false praise.”
So, after much deliberation on the subject, I’ve decided that constructive criticism (with the emphasis on constructive) IS a good thing.
The last thing I want at the end of the day is to go through life filled with puffery rather than sincerity. I would rather someone be honest with my shortcomings as a means to help me better myself, than to say what’s easy, non-confrontational and safe.
I read this wonderful quote the other day: “You learn nothing from life if you think you’re right all the time.”
And those people my dear readers are the ones who will never understand, accept or welcome constructive criticism. A sad reality really, because hearing how they could better themselves would truly allow them to learn something from life.