Critique vs. Criticism

By December 16, 2015Strategy

The first person to explain the difference between critique and criticism to me was my high school football coach. Coach John Romac has made a lasting impact on me that has followed me around through both my academic and career life experiences. Now I am finally vocalizing my advice on receiving feedback for you to take note of.

Through my various work experiences I have always been able to spot the people who don’t respond well to feedback. The reason for this is because many people unknowingly misinterpret the message that is being portrayed. Instead of honestly listening to the vocalizer the receiver interprets the the feedback is an attack upon themselves. Consequently, they put up the guard and refuse to listen to the message being portrayed.   

Fortunately, in an environment like Hawke Media, no one really carries the role of an intimidating boss figure that will tear your head off. This company is solely comprised of individuals who are self-motivated and able to set their own deliverables. They have proven value to the team without having to be told what to do in such a rapid environment where things change minute to minute. This is of significant importance when finding employees who can receive criticism, read verbal and nonverbal cues, and not internalize their feelings.

Below I have suggested three tips to follow when you are receiving feedback at work.

1.Shut up and Listen.

Especially if your boss is giving you feedback, you don’t want to interrupt them with an excuse. Let them finish, nod your head, and respond with something simple like, “I understand” or “won’t happen again.” Giving a million reasons why something did not get done is for rookies. In fact, it will probably make you look even more unprepared. Step up and take some ownership for your work.  In the long run I guarantee your boss will appreciate your honesty much more.

2.If the shoe fits wear it. If not, throw it away. 

Regardless if you agree with the feedback you are getting, it is a strong quality to have is the ability to take accountability for your actions. More than just take accountability be able to learn and grow and modify your behavior based on the experience.

3.Back your $#!% up.

Now that you have waited patiently for your turn to defend yourself, make sure that you are prepared to back it up. Don’t give excuses. Give results and explain what you are doing to get things done. The worst thing you can do is give explanation based on feeling. Businesses do not run on feelings, they run on cold hard data. Bring data to the argument about why you think your actions are appropriate.  Any time you can quantify your actions in cold hard analytic fact you are better suited to objectively communicate your accomplishments.

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