Han­dling crit­i­cism

Enterprise - - Corporate Lounge -

Although the word ‘ crit­i­cism’ is sup­posed to be neu­tral and sug­gests both neg­a­tive and pos­i­tive feed­back, yet it seems to have a neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tion. From a ten­der age, our mind per­ceives crit­i­cism as an un­fair judg­ment passed on us, thereby trig­ger­ing a de­fen­sive mind­set.

The na­ture of the pro­fes­sional en­vi­ron­ment is such that it au­to­mat­i­cally in­volves the scru­tiny of an in­di­vid­ual’s boss and col­leagues. Since pro­fes­sional feed­back is nec­es­sary for ad­e­quate man­age­ment and growth, it is dif­fi­cult to avoid crit­i­cism.

De­spite the gen­eral as­sump­tion, crit­i­cism can also be con­struc­tive in na­ture. When the in­ten­tion be­hind crit­i­ciz­ing some­one is for his or her own pro­fes­sional growth, it serves as a cat­a­lyst to re­in­force pos­i­tive be­hav­iour in the re­cip­i­ent. Con­struc­tive crit­i­cism helps in iden­ti­fy­ing ar­eas that re­quire pro­fes­sional growth, thereby mak­ing it eas­ier for the re­cip­i­ent of the crit­i­cism to avoid mis­takes made ear­lier.

Many eas­ily sur­ren­der to crit­i­cism, which leads them to­wards prob­lems rang­ing from de­pres­sion, ten­sion and anx­i­ety to even panic at­tacks. It low­ers their self­es­teem, fur­ther re­duc­ing their con­fi­dence, mak­ing them doubt their own true po­ten­tial. This in turn does not only af­fect their de­ci­sion- mak­ing abil­i­ties but also has detri­men­tal im­pact on their pro­duc­tiv­ity as a whole. Per­sis­tent crit­i­cism over a pro­longed pe­riod breeds anger, frus­tra­tion and neg­a­tiv­ity neg­a­tiv­ity.

A study re­veals that em­ploy­ees who face crit­i­cism at the work­place have a 30 per­cent higher rate of heart dis­eases than those who are lucky enough to es­cape one of the most com­mon hor­rors of the pro­fes­sional world. Deroga­tory re­marks af­fect em­ploy­ees’ mo­rale and con­fi­dence.

On the other hand, a world­wide study con­ducted by Tow­ers Wat­son sup­ports the gen­eral as­sump­tion that pos­i­tive feed­back or, in other words, con­struc­tive crit­i­cism helps in in­creas­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity and im­proves the well- be­ing of em­ploy­ees. Un­like the ef­fects of neg­a­tive crit­i­cism, pos­i­tive feed­back lib­er­ates an in­di­vid­ual from stress and anx­i­ety. It there­fore stim­u­lates cre­ativ­ity, which leads to in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Crit­i­cism of­ten leads the re­cip­i­ent to adapt to the de­mands of the crit­i­ciz­ing in­di­vid­ual or to rebel against him. How­ever, re­flect­ing ra­tio­nally on the va­lid­ity of the crit­i­cism, while keep­ing one­self emo­tion­ally de­tached is one of the most chal­leng­ing as­pects of sur­vival in the cor­po­rate world. It also re­flects the in­di­vid­ual’s ma­tu­rity and self- con­trol. It pre­vents the re­cip­i­ent from re­belling with fury and paves the way to­wards a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship be­tween the em­ployer and em­ployee.

The in­di­vid­ual who re­ceives crit­i­cism must plan his thoughts and ac­tions and also com­mu­ni­cate with the higher man­age­ment to avoid th the same mis­takes in fu­ture. The re­cip­i­ent must also ac­cept and wel­come crit­i­cism for pos­i­tive changes in life.

Since it takes the ef­fort of two in­di­vid­u­als to im­prove their re­la­tion­ship, em­ploy­ees along with their su­pe­ri­ors need to work on their at­ti­tudes and ap­proach to­wards life.

It is ex­tremely cru­cial for em­ploy­ers to un­der­stand that stud­ies stress upon the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of crit­i­cism on sev­eral em­ploy­ees. Since em­ploy­ees are valu­able as­sets in whom the com­pany in­vests a con­sid­er­able amount of time, money and ef­fort, their phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal well­be­ing should al­ways come first. For that rea­son, the ones in author­ity must trans­form neg­a­tive feed­back into a pos­i­tive one. Keep­ing the ben­e­fits of con­struc­tive crit­i­cism in view, em­ploy­ers must high­light and praise cer­tain com­mend­able as­pects of their em­ploy­ees. Such fre­quent ap­pre­ci­a­tion works as a con­fi­dence booster and also en­hances the in­di­vid­ual’s pro­duc­tiv­ity.

An­other sig­nif­i­cant pre­req­ui­site for pro­duc­tiv­ity stem­ming from crit­i­cism is the fact that all kinds of feed­back must reach the re­ceiver di­rectly. Pro­vid­ing the re­cip­i­ent with a pre­cise guide­line to re­solve the is­sue is the most ef­fec­tive way to con­front an em­ployee who is at fault.

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