Yesterday, we started looking at the fact that people can all too easily see the negatives in their day or in the people around them. Some feel that it is their responsibility, not just their right, to observe and offer suggestions and corrections, whether behind someone’s back or to their face. And although some people do this well, others are not quite so popular.
Popularity may not be the be all and end all, but influence is important and we can ill-afford to lose it. Here’s a few questions that might help us to consider whether we are actually well balanced in our perspectives. These might also help us to consider whether others appreciate our ‘feedback’ and value our friendship, too, or whether our comments typically get us off side with people.
They are just questions, but are hopefully able to bring some helpful adjustment to critical comments that are often well-motivated but poorly received.
1. If you value relationship as a part of a team, do you value relationship with those in the team?
2. Do emotions tend to surface when you comment on what is not working or not right?
3. How do you really respond when others bring correction to you, and are there any positive responses in you that can be instructive to handling others?
4. Do you have constructive and solution-focused advice, or are you just taking a ‘pot shot’.
5. Can you acknowledge good in a person in the very area of their life you want to correct?
6. Can you offer a comment sandwich to make correction a little more palatable and effective, i.e. a positive, then the negative, and then another positive?
7. Do you actually need to criticise and is it really your role to bring correction?
8. How much encouragement do you offer that brings out the best in others and values what they do well, so that they don’t need to feel as if they are inferior to you?
9. Do you truly love, or care for, a person you are seeking to correct, or is it ‘more about you’?
10. Could you work more productively and purposefully for the betterment of others (i.e. not just work harder)?