Learning With A Helping Hand
No one likes to be criticized.
Even just the word itself seems to carry a negative meaning, which often changes our perspective about what we hear from the get-go.
This way of perceiving criticism, however, robs us of some of the most efficient methods of improvement, namely, learning through our mistakes.
Here we explain why constructive criticism is actually beneficial for you, as long as it comes with the right intentions.
The Bigger Picture
Firstly, let's talk about perspective.
When we are trying our best to achieve something, we often become engulfed by it.
Although this shows our dedication and keeps our focus, it's easy to get lost in the details and forget about the bigger picture.
A very illustrative example of this is when a novice starts learning how to draw.
When most people start doing their first paintings, they tend to focus on the details from the beginning.
And although these parts of the picture might end up really well, there are others that often need more work.
Imagine a landscape with a house, for example - each brick in correct correspondence to the other and to reality, but the perspective, the overall size, or the background are not as well made.
It looks as though someone tried really hard for one aspect but neglected another.
This is an accurate depiction of the way we subconsciously start dealing with problems in our work and in life too.
And that's exactly where constructive criticism comes in handy.
A different perspective, a fresh pair of eyes would notice that you are too focused on a particular detail and help you see the bigger picture.
With this newly regained point of view, you can start ironing out some of the things that were out of your focus. And that makes for a job well done every time.
A different aspect in which constructive criticism helps a lot is that it forms stronger, more trustworthy relationships.
Communication is the bread and butter of both receiving and giving this type of advice, which is why relationships benefit greatly from it.
Let's break the explanation down to the two aspects of constructive criticism - giving and receiving.
When you're the one who shares their ideas and advice, you have to make sure that the person opposite of you understands both what you mean and where you're coming from.
This form of communication makes you considerate of the other person's perception, seeing as that's the only way to make a positive change.
This is why, when you're giving advice in the form of constructive criticism, your communication skills and understanding of the other person's thought process become much better.
On a side note, this form of communication makes you more considerate of the feelings of others because one of your main goals is to make sure you're not offending anyone, seeing as this is not what you aim for.
Now that this is clear let's talk about receiving constructive criticism.
By listening and understanding where the other person is coming from, you start realizing you're not alone, and you start trusting others.
This means that, while relying on yourself, you can share your experiences with others, learn from them and be happier for it.
The building of trustworthy relationships goes both ways, and when you’re on the receiving end, it really helps to know that this person is trying their best to help you.
Constructive criticism is incredibly useful on each side of the equation.
It is a valuable tool that when used correctly often results in a job well done and happier participants.
The idea of constructive criticism itself is to aid in communication, not threaten it.
It is providing you both with the resources you need to do the best work you can and with the ability to help in the most useful way.
When you put it that way, it actually sounds good, doesn’t it?