Criticism can have a huge and sometimes crushing impact on people. Too often, in our anger and displeasure, we lash out and tell people what we think of their performance or judgment. Too often as well, we don’t think of the possible consequences or outcomes before we say it.
It’s true that sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary to let others know when they haven’t met certain criteria. The next time you feel the need to criticize, consider the following:
Is the criticism absolutely necessary? Ask yourself, “am I angry because I’m having a bad day, or do I really need to address this behavior with this person?” Perhaps it’s both and in that case wait until your anger subsides before addressing the issue.
Whatever the situation, take a deep breath and carefully choose your words. If you say the first thing that comes to your mind, you’ll often regret it. When you think for a moment before speaking, you’ll find that you use words that are less harsh and more appropriate to the situation. Remember that we can’t take back what we have already said.
In your heart you know the difference between “ripping” on someone and providing them with constructive criticism. When you can transfer that knowledge from your heart to your head you will have the chance to truly lead.