Giving and receiving criticism

If you want to build a great career, you need helpful criticism from time to time. Other people need to let you know where you’re going wrong and which skills you need to work on. Let’s look at how to give and receive helpful criticism. 

1. Criticism Makes Champions! 

All sporting champions welcome feedback in order to get better. They want their coach to tell them what they’re doing right and wrong, so they can improve their performance and become the best.
Even if you’re not a top athlete, you probably know how useful good feedback can be. For example, your friends or family can often point out your strengths and weaknesses. It’s the same with playing a musical instrument. You need a teacher to tell you where you’re going wrong and what you need to practice.   
Many people avoid giving feedback and criticism at work. They worry that they might appear unkind. However, there’s no need to feel this way. Start by learning how to receive feedback and benefit from it. Then, you can also give feedback to people around you. 

Feedback is used to help people to grow, personally and professionally. 

  • People want to strengthen what they do well.  
  • People want to correct what they don’t do well.

    The best leaders are good at giving and receiving feedback. They create a good ‘feedback culture’ at work, where everyone understands and welcomes the value of feedback. This leads to greater happiness at work and better results.


2. Two Stars and A Wish

Some schools use ‘two stars and a wish’ to provide good feedback. The ‘stars’ refer to two things they liked about what students did. The ‘wish’ refers to something they wanted more of or that could be made perfect.

You can use this at work. For example, ask a colleague for regular feedback. Ask them to tell you: 

  • Two things they really like.  
  • One thing you could do better.



3. Give Yourself Feedback

Whenever you complete a task, it’s good to get a colleague’s feedback. However, you should also give yourself feedback. Review your work fairly and objectively (meaning you ignore personal feelings about what you have done). This helps you to recognise your strengths and weaknesses. Just don’t be too self-critical. Stick to the ‘two stars and a wish’ pattern. It’s a great way to practice saying something positive about yourself.

4. Feedback After Projects

Whenever your team finishes a project, have a feedback session. Invite the team to an informal meeting. Give everyone the chance to offer feedback about the team and how the team performed. This is not about individuals. For example, people might comment on how well the team worked together, whether the level of communication was good and whether the workflow was organised. It’s a chance to discuss what you all did well and what you can do better next time.

Topic: Communication Power, The Leader In You, Sweet Teams Are Made Of This