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  • Writer's pictureSyed Ahmed

Criticism Vs Feedback

Do you know the difference between criticism and feedback?

How would you feel if your manager says "Can you come to my cabin, I need to give you some feedback"?

If your heart starts sinking, your mind starts racing and your feet start shaking, it is not your fault, you are going through Amygdala hijack.

Feedback is one of the best tools for performance improvement and skill development however, sometimes, the way it is delivered can make it the best tool for destroying motivation, self-esteem and morale of people.

Let me explain, when we hear comments like: "You are an idiot" or "You are careless" or "You are lazy" or "Can't you do such a simple task?" or "I don't know why you were hired, you are good for nothing" or "You are not confident" or "You have communication issues" or "You don't know how to talk", we get hurt deeply.

We get hurt because these comments are criticisms of our personality and not feedback on our behaviour. The only purpose they serve is to diminish our self-worth.

Let us focus on improving the behaviour and not criticising the individual. For example: instead of saying "You were rude" we need to say "The way you spoke especially the tone, made you look rude"; instead of saying "You are really bad at drafting reports" say "the content was relevant and you can improve the formatting by...." Instead of saying "You have a communication problem" say "You have confidence and need to work on vocabulary"

I request all domestic leaders (parents) and business leaders to please stick to behavioural feedback (say and do) and not attack the personality of the individual.

It is simple, we are all born awesome, we just need to learn more socially acceptable and appropriate behaviours. Always remember we are all Work in progress (WIP)


Syed Ahmed Hussaini

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