I criticise everything and here is what I learnt!
I grew up with parents who believed in never appreciating their kids in front of others. They felt it was boasting. So not being open enough about the appreciation comes naturally to me. And being the blunt person I am, being blunt about mistakes also comes naturally. Now these two combinations can be deadly to your professional life. Speaking from experience.
Many times I have realised that by making a casual comment about something not being good enough, and not voicing how I really feel about them, or in what light I see people in my life, I have wronged them. I negate all the positive things that people have. I try hard to work on it. I have tried to compliment people on things I really liked about them, but all that came out my mouth was awkward mumbling and some squeaks. Otherwise I need to be really drunk to profess my love for people.
I have many people in my life who inspire me, make me get out of bed, make my normal boring day. But I realise I rarely let them know. I hope I would be able to someday, without getting uncomfortable.
Today I realised one thing, if I have to criticise something or someone, do it on face, and do not make it like it is the end of the world. Something goes bad, and if you know it’s in not intentional, let it go. Be rational, be aware. Holds true for work, relationships, inner dialogs and life in general.
Second, I read somewhere that do not start off with praise and add a but, for the criticisms. I think that holds true. But I learnt quickly that don’t do the opposite too. Don’t criticise and then praise. It has the same effect. So what to do?
I don’t know! But the next thing that I am going to try is, instead of pointing out flaws and giving solutions, just give the solutions and explain how they would help. May be this would work. I could go and read about it in some book, but that is not on priority for me right now. Or ask people to do the things that I want to be done.
Third thing is, try and really try to see things in positive light. It takes a minimum of someone else criticising things for me to see the situation in a positive light. I have to consciously remind myself to take things in a very positive light. That way it’ll be difficult to see the negative things.
Fourth is, taking time before criticising. It is easier to blurt out things you don’t like. Difficult thing is to decide if it is worth it. It doesn’t mean let things be as they are, rather, speak when it is really needed. But don’t do it just because you can.
Fifth, remove emotions out of criticism. It should not be because you are passionate about something, or there shouldn’t be an inkling of emotion. It should be done because it is required. At the same time, try to learn giving constructive feedback that doesn’t get personal, and motivates the receiving end to work and get better.
Until I get things right, I hope to go a day without offending anyone.
Miles to go before I sleep.