If you show your work to someone you know, and ask “What do you think?” they will most probably say it’s okay. They won’t want to offend you. And you won’t gain constructive criticism.
Is that what you wanted? Or would you prefer truthful?
Next time you ask for feedback don’t ask what is right. Ask what is wrong!
You may not like what you hear, but you are likely to get constructive criticism. The truth may hurt for a while.
Flattery is a sort of bad money, to which your vanity gives currency.
However, in the long run a slap in the face is better than a pat on the back. A slap in the face—truthful criticism—makes us think.
No matter how often we reflect on our performance or how self-aware we are it is hard to assess ourselves.
Therefore, we must temper our view of ourselves and seek feedback from others we trust.
Receiving Constructive Criticism
Ask people you know well to give you feedback about how they see you. And when you receive constructive criticism be open to it. Indeed the more their feedback differs from your view of yourself the more potential value it has.
However, in such circumstances you should always seek feedback from more people. When someone offers you constructive criticism they are giving you useful feedback about themselves and their reaction to what you have done.
What they say may be a surprise. You may decide that you would have done things differently. Likewise you may be happy doing things just the same. Receiving criticism—negative feedback— does not mean you have to change.
Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-pulling, but guiding, instructive, inspirational—a south wind not an east wind. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
So remember a slap in the face is often better that a pat on the back.
Have Your Say
How do you handle criticism? To you find negative feedback helpful? We do! So please tell us what’s wrong with this site? What changes would you like to see? Please join the discussion.