It’s easy to give criticism. Watch a baseball game and you can even criticize a superstar star who hits two home runs because he struck out his other two times up. Look over a colleague’s shoulder for a day and you can tell him how to be better. Watch your kids closely and you’ll find ways to improve everything they do. But when you point out some of these failings, even if it’s “constructive criticism”, you will often find that you are just starting a fight, ending relations or creating ill will.
So the correct answer on when to give criticism is “Never”. If you still insist then follow these guidelines.
No one wants it
Let’s face it no one wants criticism. Even if they ask for feedback, the only feedback they want to hear is “great job”.Â Think about it, would you like to get criticism on something you worked hard on?
Change your mindset, don’t criticize until you’ve evaluated the following steps.
No one is perfect
Realize that no one is perfect all the time. Sometimes just let it go.
Why are you criticizing? If you don’t have noble intentions it’s likely your advice will be resented. Even with noble intentions your advice may not leave a mark.
Will it help?
Evaluate whether your criticism will help. If you’re sure that it will be ignored (because you’ve said it in the past and it’s been ignored) then save your breath. You gain nothing and stand to lose positive feelings.
Will it be well received?
Sometimes giving advise may help the person improve but will it be well received? Maybe someone else is better of giving it. Try to involve the other person.
Offer a solution
Don’t just criticize. Of course we all know we shouldn’t make mistakes. Offer a fix to the problem.
Focus on one topic
Sometimes it’s difficult not to advise someone but if you’re not helping the best thing to do is to stay close until they give you the opening. If you get criticism,Â read The Critical Success on how to deal with it. Realize it’s not always about you.