How to give and take constructive criticism

What if we said that you aren’t perfect?

You probably already know this, but it can still hurt. It can be difficult to accept criticism of any type, especially when it is directed at something that you have spent so much time and effort on. We all desire to do a great job. Criticism is as important as praise. You can improve your performance and reach new heights if you receive constructive feedback.

It is not easy to give and take constructive criticism. You can be a better friend, colleague, and employee if you learn how to accept criticism. This article will cover all you need to know about constructive critics, including how to give and receive constructive criticism.

What is constructive criticism?

constructive criticism

Before we can discuss how to give and receive constructive criticism, it is important to first understand what it is. To help you improve in a particular area, constructive criticism is about providing constructive feedback.

With good intentions, constructive criticism should be given in a friendly and open manner. In order to be a useful tool in the growth process, constructive criticism should be offered in a friendly manner.

It is important to remember that constructive criticism should not be taken as negative criticism. Although constructive criticism may not always be positive, it should help someone improve and not bring them down.

Constructive criticism vs. destructive criticism

Sometimes, feedback is misinterpreted as constructive criticism. This feedback is known as destructive critic. Contrary to constructive criticism, destructive criticism doesn’t help you grow and become a better friend, colleague, or employee. Instead, destructive criticism is:

  • This is intended as a personal attack
  • To harm self-esteem
  • Public
  • It is not specific or actionable
  • Hypercritical or excessively nit-picky

Don’t be afraid of receiving negative criticism. Ask for mentorship or to shut it off. You, your mentor or the HR department of your company can all help you to address the situation depending on the circumstances.

The benefits of constructive criticism

Even if you offer the best advice, constructive criticism can still be difficult to give and receive. Don’t be afraid to give constructive criticism even though it is difficult. Constructive criticism can be a great way to help you and your fellow feedback recipients grow professionally and personally.

You can build trust and openness by practicing constructive criticism. It won’t be easy to have a conversation with your team, but difficult conversations are an important part of building a collaborative team .

Each company will have its own values and procedures. However, it is possible to build trust and build a stronger connection with colleagues and team members by opening up to honest and constructive conversations. Here’s how to do it:

5 tips for giving constructive criticism

1. Avoid Public Feedbacks

Even the most well-meaning criticisms can be difficult to accept, especially if someone you are giving feedback to has spent a lot time and effort on their work. You want feedback to be constructive and helpful.

If you give your feedback in public, this type of dialogue won’t work. The person may feel ashamed, embarrassed, or attacked instead of having a conversation. The person might react defensively, or simply move on without absorbing the feedback.

To have a productive conversation, make sure you take the time to talk to others. You can either schedule time for constructive criticism or make it a regular 1 on 1

2. Avoid The sandwich technique

The sandwich method, also known as the “feedback sandwich”, is probably something you’ve heard before. This criticism strategy is perhaps the most well-known. The sandwich method involves a positive start, constructive criticism, and then a second positive comment.

The sandwich method, despite its popularity, is not a good way to convey constructive criticism. You’re essentially putting constructive criticism in a box. This makes it difficult to take that feedback and make it actionable. Spend your time giving feedback that is specific and helpful, no matter how many pieces you have.

3. Always use “I” Statements

“I” statements can be used to express your opinions by focusing on the situation and not the person being discussed. “I” statements start with “I feel …”, or “I think …”,” instead of “You said …”, or “You did …”.”

You can make feedback less personal by using an “I” statement. This allows you to center it around your own experience. You are constantly clarifying that your feedback is based on your opinions and thoughts, rather than objective facts by beginning each sentence with “I”. This will reduce personal defensiveness and improve the effectiveness of the feedback session.

4. Maintain a friendly tone and body language

You are providing feedback to improve the lives of others. Although it may be difficult to give feedback, keep your body language positive.

It’s possible to not feel comfortable offering constructive criticism at first. Instead, practice what and how you will say it. You should pay attention to your tone and avoid frowning, glaring or crossing your arms. Even if you don’t feel frustrated, these signals can cause the person to become defensive and make it difficult for them to receive constructive feedback. You should turn on your video if you are giving feedback remotely.

5. Actionable feedback are Important

Provide constructive feedback to help the person improve. Good constructive criticism is not only about pointing out the areas that need improvement, but also includes suggestions and next steps that can be taken to improve their skills. If you give feedback, be sure to let the person know that you are open to discussion and brainstorming.

Don’t give feedback if it isn’t actionable. Wait until you have something concrete before you bring it up. Your feedback is dangerously close to constructive criticism if it doesn’t offer any actionable advice.

5 steps to taking constructive criticism

Although you have practiced constructive criticism, what about receiving feedback? It can be difficult to accept criticism without becoming defensive. Although you may conceptually understand that the person giving feedback is trying to help you, it is human nature to be defensive when you receive criticism.

You should have been informed in advance of any feedback. If you are aware that someone is giving you constructive feedback, you can plan for it and ensure it doesn’t happen to you by being prepared.

These five steps will help you become an expert at receiving criticism.

  1. Do not react immediately. Feedback may activate our fight or flight response, turning a theoretically useful session into an adrenaline-filled adventure. Take a deep breath before you respond. Resist the urge to react, argue, or respond.
  2. Listen to what they are saying and don’t respond. Don’t react or form a response. Remember that you are receiving feedback to help you. Listen with an open mind.
  3. We feel that people are criticizing our work. In a business environment, constructive criticism is often based on your job. Feedback can be helpful in improving your job, but it is not always as personal as you think.
  4. Give constructive feedback. It is difficult to give constructive feedback. You should thank the person for their effort and energy in helping you improve.
  5. Ask questions but don’t question the feedback. It’s okay to ask questions and brainstorm ways you can improve. It’s okay to not be ready to answer questions right away after you have received critical feedback. To discuss how you can improve, set up a follow-up meeting.


Effective criticism, when done correctly, can lead to a more productive and collaborative team. Collaboration is a team that is open and honest with each other, and not afraid to discuss real issues. This will help you become more collaborative and work together more effectively.

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