When it comes to criticism there is really only one approach that we should take, and that is to be constructive.
Constructive criticism is a way of proving feedback such that the person receiving it can look improve, do better and achieve their full potential.
When we criticise in a non constructive way we should ask ourselves why we are doing it.
It certainly isn’t to provide help and support. People often find it difficult to accept constructive criticism, I know I do, let alone hear negative criticism.
Criticism that is not constructive is, by definition, therefore destructive.
What is our intention when provided destructive criticism, is it to punish, to be cruel, if so, then that’s not leadership.
My grandma always used to tell me, if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.
As leaders, one of our roles is that of coach, looking to provide support and guidance to our team, looking to improve their performance, helping them to reach their full potential. This can only be done through constructive criticism.
Destructive criticism makes people resentful, closed, demotivated, kills their spirit and does nothing to help them. It eats away at their confidence and will probably lead to even lower performance.
True, there are some masochists who will respond positively, but they are a rarity, and even these people would probably respond better to positive constructive criticism.
So when you have to provide feedback, decide what you intention is, is it to be supportive or to punish because that’s the only place for destructive criticism.