How to: Incorporate Constructive Criticism into Your Relationships

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

-Grandma

How many of your grandmas told you this growing up? And how often do you heed their advice?
When a friend or coworker confides something in you that you don’t agree with or instinct is to be combative, how many of us gravitate towards just saying what’s on our mind? In today’s society, we are often applauded online to “call each other out,” but in the long term, are we really serving ourselves doing that?

Sometimes, keeping negative comments to yourself and re-evaluating how to posture what’s important in the relationship or conversation can end up impacting you and the other person later. Don’t pick at other people scars or wounds when they’re red hot; give them time to cool down and they’ll be able to hear your constructive feedback later a lot more clearly.

via GIPHY

What are some ways that you promote effective communication and constructive criticism into your workplaces and relationships?

Here are some ways to incorporate constructive criticism into your relationships effectively:

  1. Approach with care: empathy can be tough to master. Taking time to meditate or go for a walk before preparing a hard report is statistically proven to lower your anxiety and defense hormones.
  2. Freeze it — Take some time to cool down before digging into red-hot areas.
  3. Use an accountability partner — ask someone else on your team or in your family to get involved in tough conversations.
  4. Environmental surroundings matter: ever hear that saying that breaking bread is the start of peace? Where you have tough conversations matters, so get creative.
  5. Personality typing can help: if you understand more about someone’s personality and the types of reactions they gravitate towards. Successful teams know about how their team members’ personality types interact. You can map out how you give feedback and serve others better in the conversation. Scroll back through those Disney princess surveys…there might be something useful in there 😉

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