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The Power of Mindful Leadership: How to Stay Present and Engaged at Work

Constructive criticism aimed at identifying areas for improvement is an essential part of individual and career development. However, many people find it challenging to give and receive feedback effectively. Giving feedback that is too harsh or vague can lead to feelings of defensiveness and hurt, while receiving criticism can be intimidating and leave you feeling discouraged. We’ll explore how to give and receive constructive criticism in the workplace in a way that promotes growth and positive change.

Giving Constructive Criticism 

  • – Include positive feedback

Including positive feedback in constructive criticism can help to create a more balanced and productive conversation. Positive feedback acknowledges the things that the receiver is doing well and can increase their motivation to continue those behaviours. By sandwiching constructive criticism between positive comments, the receiver won’t just focus on the criticism and harbour negative feelings.  

  • – Be specific about criticism

Being specific about the criticism allows the receiver to understand exactly what needs to be improved and how to go about making those changes. Specific feedback can also help to avoid confusion and prevent the receiver from feeling overwhelmed or defensive. When giving specific feedback, it’s important to use clear and objective language and provide examples to support your points.

  • – Be sensitive to emotions

Being sensitive to the emotions of the receiver can help to avoid defensiveness and maintain a positive relationship. Criticism can be difficult to receive, and it’s important to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding by using language that is non-judgmental and respectful.


Receiving Constructive Criticism 

  • – Be open-minded

Approach the conversation with a willingness to listen and consider the other person’s perspective. Being open-minded doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything that is being said, but rather that you are willing to consider the feedback and reflect on your behaviour.

  • – Don’t interrupt

Interrupting can prevent you from fully understanding the feedback and can also make the other person feel disrespected or unheard. Instead, listen actively and let the other person finish their thoughts before responding. This can help to create a more productive and respectful conversation.

  • – Focus on a growth mindset 

It’s important to avoid taking the feedback personally and instead approach it with a willingness to grow and develop. This can help you to identify areas for improvement and make positive changes in your behaviour or work performance.

Better Conversations is a leadership communication training programme that helps managers give productive feedback and ask the right questions to build a positive workplace.

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