What do you avoid criticizing

Dealing with criticism: blame obliges

Criticism is when you say it nicer than you mean it. Not everyone can deal with it. It is essential that you deal with criticism in a practiced manner. We meet her everywhere - in professional life and at work as well as in private life and among friends. The feedback can be positive or negative, constructive or destructive. But what matters more is how we react to it. In the following you will find simple tips on how to better deal with criticism in the future. And criticize better at the same time. Because: blame obliges ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

There is an intention behind every criticism

Criticism is not always criticism. Those who criticize usually have an intention. Or has - as it is also called - a motive. Recognizing this is essential to be able to deal better with criticism. There are people who pursue benevolent goals with your feedback. They denounce grievances or personal shortcomings, not to cause harm. You want to draw attention, create problem awareness, find solutions. For the benefit of all or one individual. This criticism has the character of well-intentioned advice, which at the same time has the chance to correct it.

There are also criticswho use the feedback to distinguish themselves. Those who know “better” rise above the others - without being obliged to do it better themselves. An extremely comfortable position. It is not just noble and helpful. Sometimes it is even about deliberate dismantling. With the self-exaltation comes the humiliation of the counterpart at the same time. These critics have the aura of the enlightened know-it-all. Often with bad intent. This can hide feelings of inferiority as well as thirst for revenge.

Blame obliges: Even critics can be wrong

Criticizing others without provoking arguments can only be achieved through an internal attitude towards service. Criticism - used correctly - can be an enormously creative force that enables learning processes, growth and success. But this only works if the critic remains open to being wrong himself. So before you think about how best to tell your colleague that he has a quirk of cosmic proportions, it makes sense to question your own perception.

Dealing with criticism: tips on how to react confidently

Admittedly, it is not easy to deal with criticism. Hardly anyone is indifferent when he or she has to listen to criticism for a wrongdoing or a decision. Some people therefore put on a thick coat. But it would be better to learn how to deal professionally with criticism. For example like this ...

  1. First listen

    If criticism is expressed, most feel the need to justify or defend themselves immediately. Unwise! Let the critic finish speaking first and take your time to listen to all the arguments and the critic's point of view. This is the only way to tell whether the criticism is objectively justified. A brief moment of self-reflection can certainly do no harm. Only those who understand the other person's point of view can deal wisely with criticism.

  2. ask for

    Avoid immediately arguing with the critic. The sender-receiver model shows that some messages arrive differently than they are intended. If you are unsure what was criticized or how the criticism was meant, ask! But please without a sarcastic or accusatory undertone. It's still about taking stock. Justified, constructive criticism is always based on concrete and comprehensible arguments. Not just an opinion<. indem="" sie="" nachhaken="" zeigen="" dem="" kritiker="" dass="" ihn="" ernst="" nehmen="" sich="" aber="" auch="" nicht="" davon="" einsch="" lassen.="">

  3. Create mental distance

    Even if it is difficult: do not take the criticism personally. Rather, try to distance yourself mentally and emotionally and view the criticism objectively. This is the only way you can remain calm and confident. Anyone who feels personally attacked can no longer think clearly. It is not uncommon for this not to be an attack, but an opportunity to learn from mistakes.

  4. Take the criticism

    At this point you have to decide: If the criticism is correct, you should not downplay it or deny it. It can even be useful to say thank you for the criticism you have expressed. After all, the other person took the time to draw your attention to something and thus gave you the chance to improve. Sure: the tone of the criticism should also be right and the intention behind it should be noble. But only one goal would ignore this form of criticism.

  5. Make your point

    Being able to deal with criticism properly does not mean that you always have to agree to it 100 percent. On the contrary: if you expose the criticism as false, destructive or irrelevant, you can and should say so. Of course, also factual. Otherwise you are going to the level of the informer. And that's where he probably knows his way around better.

Types of criticism: dealing actively and passively with criticism

Everyone reacts differently to criticism. That is certainly due to the way what and how was criticized. It is not infrequently a question of temperament. The Cologne economist, Annette Bruce, identified four types of critics and their respective styles of criticism in her studies on dealing with criticism. You can also see the list as a kind of self-test: What type are you - or your colleague or boss?

Dealing with criticism: active

  • The competent critic
    With this type, the need for social approval is at a healthy level. He neither tries to win popularity contests, nor does he see himself as a one-eyed among the blind. Before he criticizes anything, he carefully examines all points of view and points of view. His criticism is always well-founded and factual and never general.
  • The buddy critic
    This empathic type has the ability to put themselves in the shoes of others and to formulate their criticism in a pleasant and benevolent manner. But its weak point is its need for harmony. He can defuse critical situations, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty, he likes to evade. He thinks criticism is okay, conflicts are not.
  • The authoritarian critic
    This daredevil's motto: "What would Rambo have done in my place?" This guy never avoids a conflict. If there is a grievance, he calls things by their names. Honest but ruthless. He likes to stick to his point of view. Compromise is not his thing. The authoritarian style of criticism, however, often serves to cover up the lack of social competence.
  • The conflict-averse critic
    Actually, one cannot speak of a critic here at all. If there are conflicts, this type withdraws as inconspicuously as possible or remains silent. He is reluctant to express himself about colleagues or employees - and certainly not in a negative way. In a team, such types are quickly seen as followers, opportunists or victims.

Dealing with criticism: Passive

  • The competent critic
    Praise and blame are two sides of the same coin for this guy. He sees criticism as an opportunity for personal development and processes it constructively. It is true that in the event of a conflict he will articulate his own point of view. But he doesn't necessarily hold on to it. It is crucial for him to negotiate a sensible compromise. For him, it's not about being right, but about finding the best option.
  • The conflicting critic
    Anyone who judges others automatically belittles them. This is exactly why these people have sensitive antennas. This guy often perceives criticism as paternalism. That doesn't make conflict resolution with him any easier. This type is mostly revealed through unteachable behavior - or a forward defense. As a rule, he sticks to his assessment.
  • The cooperative critic
    You could also call this guy a “yes-man”. At least in the extreme. In the event of a conflict, he quickly agrees with the majority opinion. As long as the criticism is presented vehemently enough, he will not question it. This type is convenient for bosses. But also dangerous. Because behind this there is uncertainty and often feelings of inferiority. If such employees are not promoted and developed, they do not share any goals.
  • The independent critic
    Externally, this type always signals willingness to cooperate. He supposedly reacts to criticism openly and positively. Think! In fact, he thinks his own opinion is better, but has no desire to justify it or learn from it. Consequence: The sleeper can mutate into a common saboteur. Telltale signals are latent know-it-alls camouflaged with humor.

Zanke nice: Tips for better criticism

It is not uncommon for an exchange of views to resemble an attempt to mix oil with water. It is true: Criticism needs to be presented nicely so that the other will willingly swallow it. But all of this is of little use if the core message of tolerance and loveliness drowns in the sauce. So tell me what's up. You should never be afraid of conflicts. They ensure mental mobility, vitality - but above all they can bring about beneficial changes. What we often lack, however, is a healthy culture of argument. In doing so, you can learn to argue - as well as criticize.

  • intimacy
    Avoid criticizing others in the presence of others. It is better to have a one-to-one conversation. In this way you give your interlocutor the opportunity to save face.
  • I-messages
    Anyone who starts a criticism with "You always do ..." commits two mistakes at once and immediately provokes a defense. The first mistake lies in the attribution, which is usually interpreted as a reproach. The second mistake in the inadmissible generalization. So do not say what the other is doing wrong ("You are always like this ..."), but how you feel about it ("It makes me feel ..."). These I-messages have a de-escalating effect and are less confrontational. After all, your feelings cannot simply be discussed away.
  • Objectivity
    At the beginning of the conversation, try to describe the problem objectively. In technical jargon, this first approximation is called the “contact phase”. Describe what this triggered in you and what the consequences may be.
  • empathy
    Once a good discussion atmosphere has been found, you should clarify that you want to work together (!) On a solution. If someone does not want to resolve the conflict at all, you can save yourself the action. Also check your own prejudices and change your perspective: those who put themselves in the position of the other are better at debating.
  • Quiet
    The greater the stress, the stronger the adrenaline rush. Result: instincts gain the upper hand and paralyze a rational discussion. Stay calm and avoid hectic movements. Listen carefully and ignore insults - they will only infuriate you.
  • Factual level
    Try to get a factual level: “You see it that way, I see it that way. How do we get together? ”Non-verbal factors - such as nods of the head or eye contact - also count. Avoid sitting opposite positions at the desk. Negotiations at the round table or around the corner signal more togetherness than opposition.
  • time to think
    Never interrupt the other. It is a matter of respect that everyone is allowed to present their own version. So let the other person finish - and wait a moment for yourself to answer. Anyone looking for counter-arguments while the other is talking provokes misunderstandings. Nobody has to be ashamed of thinking time either. That slows the pace and takes pressure off. Try to calm the other person down with your language and voice.
  • respect
    Avoid derogatory gestures or facial expressions. This includes rolling your eyes, but also puffing or hand movements with which you dismiss a thing. You may not be aware of it, but the other person is aware of it.
  • decision
    In both supervision and mediation, all solutions should be repeated and confirmed at the end. Don't forget to thank you for the interview - no matter how it turned out. If it doesn't work out right away, don't give up! Think about a new strategy or create allies for yourself.

How others deal with criticism always depends on how you deal with it yourself. Or as the vernacular puts it so vividly: "As you call into the forest, it echoes out."

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February 24, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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