S1E2: The Importance of Constructive Criticism

IS CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IMPORTANT? IF SO, WHY?

We all have blindspots; They aren’t easy to spot. If they were easy to spot then they’d be called “fuzzy spots” and so on.

Blindspots are blindspots because we can’t see them since they’re not in range of our peripheral view. 

Without constructive criticism, we will live life in complete blindness to the areas that limit us, damage relationships, and hurt people. 

If Bob tells you that his family is such a pain, and that there are friends he no longer talks to, and that his neighbors are jerks, and that his children are ungrateful rebels, and that his in-laws are idiots, and that his business partners are hard to work with, and he tells you he’s left church because of the church people, and quit on his volunteer duties because everyone around him had issues . . . then we’d all say: Yeah Bob everyone is to blame for the chaos in your life! 

SIKE!!!! Yeah right. No one in their right mind would come to that conclusion. 

Bob is the problem. 

We often view people like that, people who have conflict and they don’t see what we see, that they’re the problem. We shake our heads and we say to ourselves, “I’m glad that isn’t me . . .”

But the reality is that we ALL have blindspots. And often times, the biggest blindspot is think we don’t have one to begin with.

And of course everyone else can see it.

HOW SHOULD WE SEEK CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM?

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

You have to have an open mind to the person or persons you’re relying on for feedback. 

I think it’s important that you respect them. You don’t necessarily have to like them but you do need to respect their viewpoint because your initial reaction may be to discredit what they’re saying. 

That’s harder to do to someone you respect. 

Next I would say you have to seek it from a position of humility or else you’ll get defensive. You’ll get offended with the criticism. 

I’ve fallen for that. My pride gets in the way and I’ll end it making the situation bad because I’m not humble enough to receive criticism. I’ve made feedback situations with my wife the most horrific experience for her. 

I’ll ask a question like, “how did I do?” and she’ll respond, “wow you did so good up there, I loved your message, but . . . .”

It’s the dumbest thing but it happens so you have to come at with total humility, knowing that the person cares enough to tell you the truth, to point out the flaw, so you can fix it and correct it. 

HOW DO WE NOT LET THE CRITICISM "GET TO US," IN TURN USE IT FOR OUR GOOD?

Just remind yourself of the benefits of feedback. People are letting you know what they see and the things you’re blind too.

Some of the best companies in the world not only welcome feedback from their customers and clients . . . because that’s how they perfect their products and services. 

But they also welcome feedback from their employees, their staff, or team.

That creates a great culture and the work environment is constantly being tweaked to motivate the team. 

This is one of the first things that I do when I come in to work with the leadership of an organization or company. We do complete 360’ feedback surveys so that we can get a clearer picture of what the staff thinks of the leaders. 

ARE WE BETTER OFF NEVER SEEKING CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM? IF NOT, WHY?

No. The only time it hurts us is if we have are dependent on the approval of someone in particular where it becomes an obsession to please that person or group of people. 

If we are seeking feedback or constructive criticism to gage whether we are like or not, then, that’s a harmful exercise to engage in. That’s not good for anyone. 

You have to be ok with not being perfect even as you’re being perfected. 

The delivery of the questions might very well change, as we briefly overview the discuss before