I was recently asked twice in the same day how I felt about criticism. In two words: go ahead. In three words: Bring it on!
My honest opinion is that criticism is needed in all forms. Being able to accept criticism is perhaps a bit more difficult. The biggest reason I feel many people are so afraid of criticism is that a lot of people out there are unaware of how to offer criticism. Criticism is not meant to be a personal attack….ever. Attacking someone does nothing to help them. If you choose to offer someone, anyone any form of advice and your wise words drift into an angry narrative, then you my friend have missed the point entirely.
Criticism is supposed to offer bits of honest advice that will hopefully end in the recipient being better at a craft. One word there really struck me. Honesty. When you offer up advice to help someone, you should be honest. Being overly nice can often be as detrimental as attacking someone. Lauding undeserved praise can give someone a false sense of accomplishment. Which in turn may end with that person not becoming better at a given craft.
Be honest, yet being brutally honest can be hurtful to some. Not me. I’m a jerk. 🙂 It seems the more I write on this the more I am struck with why some people hate criticism and why others hate to give criticism.
Criticism is a great cliff made of muddy earth. It is a slippery slope that can end in twisted ankles and broken arms once you have committed. However, that same slope could end with a few small bumps that you learn to avoid on your next trip. It may also cause you to turn away from the cliff next time and never attempt a possibly fun ride. Handled correctly, you can ease a person down the cliff of criticism so the person learns the easiest path and learns which places to never visit again because it only hurts. This way results in a fun trip down the mudslide, and the next trip will be even better!
My 2 coppers for what it’s worth.