Criticize The Performance Not The Performer

This is just my opinion on how one thinks a “good” critic approaches a situation, It is not necessarily the way you think or feel. The article does have some good points for contemplation…

How To Tell Someone They’re Wrong (And Make Them Feel Good About It)

There are plenty of reasons not to tell someone they’re wrong. It’s uncomfortable, for one thing. You also might come off as rigid, unsympathetic, arrogant, or worst of all, politically incorrect.

Perception is everything and we give words meaning and meanings produce feelings, for example, if I say “your wrong” this brings with it a much more negative feeling than “you are mistaken,” would that be fair to say?

Here’s what all the touchy-feely folks out there don’t get about constructive criticism: It’s invaluable. The important thing is how you deliver it.

Everyone makes honest mistakes. What most people don’t realize is that embedded in criticism, constructively conveyed, is the wish to help someone get better at what they’re doing.

Any fool can deliver a meaningless “good job.” Being a constructive critic takes thought, effort and compassion. Here are eight tips for getting your good intentions across:

Pick Your Spots. Before you tell someone they’re wrong, recite–three times–Jack Nicholson’s tirade from A Few Good Men: “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Then answer the question: “Can he or she handle the truth?”  If the answer is an unqualified ‘Yes,’ let them know they are mistaken, right then and there. If “No,” then keep reading.

Never Qualify. Trying to soften criticism with qualifications such as “With all due respect,” “No offense,” or “Don’t take this the wrong way” is slathering poison on an open wound. Avoid this infuriating strategy.

The same goes with showering praise early on, only to switch gears and unload with the bad news. At best you’ll come off as disingenuous, at worst, a jerk.

Sugarcoat Donuts. Some blunt but effective advice from James G. Ellis, Dean of the USC Marshall School of Business: “Never try to simultaneously be a good cop and a bad cop,” he says. “You need to deliver your view without beating around the bush.” Ellis’ faculty knows all about this. “Say what the problem is, and if you must amplify your message, say where your data came from,” he adds. “But make it clear that your goal is ‘movement toward constructive change,’ and nothing else.”

Paint A Picture.  Ambiguity is your enemy when telling someone they’re wrong. Be concrete and don’t sermonize, even if the culprit knows he’s a sinner. Your feedback, like his priest’s, won’t afford a single clue about how he can extricate himself from purgatory.

Deal In Facts. Objectivity is crucial to constructive criticism. Remember that the goal is to communicate that a performance standard has not been met. Your sentiments (and certainly your judgments) are irrelevant.Never, ever talk down.

Focus On Behavior, Not Character. It’s easy to lapse into character assassination without knowing it. For example, in saying “You were lazy in preparing this report” you may think you are helping the author improve his writing; instead, it addresses your assumption about the person’s attitude toward their work.

Show Them The Way. Criticism without an action plan is worthless. Give them direction or keep your mouth shut.

Let The Fixes Feel Like Their Own. Chelsea A. Grayson, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Jones Day’s mergers-and-acquisitions practice, is acutely sensitive to saying, “You’re wrong” in a constructive manner.

“After I present my approach to someone I solicit feedback to ensure buy-in,” she says. “When I get it, and we concretize a plan, I often characterize it as theirs. If people feel you support their fundamental views and value them, achieving buy-in is easy and natural.”

Mark Twain observed, “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” Reform through care, not condemnation.

About lisachristiansencompanies

A U T H O R • I N N O V A T O R • E X P E R T Dr. Lisa Christiansen is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers, life coaches, and business consultants worldwide, building an impeccable record of client satisfaction in the process. A best selling author as well, Dr. Lisa Christiansen has written such inspirational titles as My Name Is Lisa; The Two Millimeter Shift; White Sheep, Blue Skies, Green Grass; 101 Great Ways To Enhance Your Career; and others, in which she sheds light on some of the biggest questions of self-empowerment and fulfillment. Among her most recent publications, Dr. Lisa Christiansen contributed to the book 100 Ways to Enhance Your Career, which features wisdom from other well-known figures in the self-help world, including Jack Canfield, John Gray, and Richard Carlson. In 100 Ways to Enhance Your Career, Dr. Lisa Christiansen shares a step-by-step process for increasing job satisfaction, gaining more from one’s career, building wealth, and taking control of one’s destiny. Aside from her numerous books, Dr. Lisa Christiansen hosts a wide variety of seminars and retreats, where she teaches her students the secret to unlocking their inner potential and living their dreams. Some of the popular events held by Dr. Lisa Christiansen include Mastering Your Wealth, Claim Your Future, and Design Your Destiny, all of which feature her intensive coaching and unique strategies of personal transformation. Her website has a wealth of additional information on her conferences, retreats, books, and other endeavors. Join the millions of people who have already revolutionized the quality of their lives. “You already know how to survive global changes in the economy, environment and political arena, now it's time to thrive and prosper at a level beyond what you ever thought was possible,” Christiansen said. “My seminar is about seizing the power within today. Press Summary: Creator of extraordinary lives, Lisa Christiansen has served as an advisor to leaders around the world for the last two decades. A recognized authority on the psychology of leadership, organizational turnaround and peak performance, Lisa has consulted Olympic athletes, world renowned musicians, Fortune 500 CEOs, psychologists, and world-class entertainers. Lisa’s strategies for achieving lasting results and fulfillment are regarded as the platinum standard in the coaching industry. Lisa captured the attention of heads of state and the U.S. Army. Christiansen has impacted the lives of millions of people from 30 countries. Lisa has been honored by Cambridge Society of Who’s Who as one of the Top Business Intellectuals in the World. Lisa has helped millions of people create extraordinary lives globally. Her expertise and guidance has enriched the lives of icons such as pop superstar Kelly Clarkson, Olympian Dara Torres, and superstar Patrick Dempsey.

Posted on September 11, 2012, in Wealth Creation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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