“Failure is constructive feedback that tells you to try a different approach to accomplish what you want.” – Idowu Koyenikan
Giving and receiving feedback is a part of everyone’s life, it is something that we all do. It is not as simple as one usually assumes. There is a whole art to it, the art of knowing how to give and receive feedback is something that a lot of people struggle with. I know that I have had a battle with it myself. Most people do not know how to properly go about it. Thankfully it is a skill that you can learn.
- Constructive Criticism Sandwich
We have all heard of the compliment sandwich, it is well known and often used today. To take it one step further is the constructive criticism sandwich. Instead of a peanut butter sandwich, this is a whole burger consisting of:
- Bun -Positive comments
- Lettuce – Praise their strong points
- Tomatoes – Compliments
- Burger – Criticism
- Condiments – Reminder of strong points
- Bun – Thanks, offer support and leave on a positive note
When using this it will lighten the blow of any harsh criticism or news.
- Be Genuine
It does not take a genius to spot when someone is not being genuine. Sugarcoating or lying about your opinion on someone’s work will always leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth. It is so much easier to just skip it entirely and be honest and truthful.
- Be Specific
There is nothing more aggravating then vague criticism. Be as specific as possible, always, and to the point when giving criticism.
- Offer Suggestions
Give an action step towards improvement, giving criticism without a way to improve it is like asking someone if they want a high five without a hand.
- Good Intentions
Always check yourself to make sure that you have the correct motives with your criticism. If your intentions are to belittle to the person then you may need to take a step back and reevaluate.
- Everything With A Grain Of Salt
This does not mean disregard all of the negative feedback that you get but keep in mind that everyone is entitled to have their own opinions. We each prefer different things and there can be multiple right answers.
- Nothing Is Personal
Do not take people’s critiques of your work personally. You are not your work and you cannot take feedback to heart. If you need to put up an imaginary wall between you and your work or pretend like you are looking at someone else’s work.
- Always Thank The Person
No matter how awful the feedback/criticism that you received was, always thank the person. They took time out of their day to look over your work and critique it. It is a sacrifice on both sides and both should be thankful for the work that the other has put in.
- See It As A Way To Improve
There are constantly ways to improve and when receiving feedback it is necessary to see it as a step that you need to climb to get higher up. It is in no way a step-down.