Constructive criticism can be defined as opinions and suggestions with the intention of helping and developing that which is being criticized.
When you’re new at something, be it a new class, a new hobby or a new job being criticized can be rough as we might not be accustomed to having our weaknesses pointed out. But you shouldn’t feel bad about it, especially if it is constructive criticism, as it is a tool that can help you develop into a better person, you only need to listen, interpret and adapt.
Criticism can induce more self-reflection as knowing that someone gave you their opinion about something you’re doing can evoke you the need to ask yourself if they’re right.
But don’t focus too much on their words, to be able to use constructive criticism in your favor you must accept that the other person isn’t personally attacking you, they are just giving you their personal view of what you are doing. You have to put emphasis on what they’re criticizing, ask yourself if you are truly doing it wrong or if you can do it better, and what can you do to learn and improve.
The aim of constructive criticism is to induce development so be thankful that they are putting their attention on you. Resist the urge to justify yourself in an aggressive manner, and if you don’t think that you’re doing something wrong, then ask them why do they think you are.
The criticism of someone much more experienced has a lot of value. If you seek the opinion of someone that you know is knowledgeable then their judgment will be key in further developing yourself. They already developed their skills so they will be more able to see where you are failing. Engage then in a conversation then ask them their views on what you’re doing wrong and what you can do to improve.
Criticism can also develop bonds between colleagues, if you’re doing a task at your job and you’re not sure that you’re doing it right, someone else can notice it and offer you help in the form of a friendly constructive criticism. The person offering their view on your skills and abilities can also direct you to where you can learn to do your task better.
If you want to give proper constructive criticism to someone else you must focus on the action that the other person is doing wrong and not on the person itself. For example, if a friend lost some important papers tell them something like “if you put them in a bright red binder you won’t lose them again”. If you say something like “you’re careless” you won’t be adding anything helpful to their lives.
Constructive criticism should be a friendly and fair advice that must never sound like a personal attack. If you’re being unfairly criticized or personally attacked then you must turn a deaf ear to their negativity. But remember that intentions are easily misinterpreted so be sure to have some good interpretation skills.