Choose Words Carefully
Kindness goes a long way. If the person you are offering criticism to feels you don’t even like them or support them, they are not likely to hear what you have to say. Be nice. That’s a good standard anytime, but becomes a strategic move when attempting to offer constructive criticism. Also, don’t criticize people or make the criticism personal. Criticism will almost always be rejected if the person receiving it feels they (or the team they lead) are being attacked. Talk less about the who and more about the what.
Have a Vested Interest
It’s hard to receive criticism as being constructive from people who really aren’t interested in the overall vision. For example, if you tell me you’d “never attend a church like the one I pastor in a million years,” I’m less likely to value your criticism about the music we sing. (And that’s happened—more than once.) If it’s obvious you love the vision, you’ll be more welcomed to critique the methods by which people are trying to attain it.
Be Humble Enough To Admit You May Be Wrong
You might be, right? Unless it’s a clearly spelled out biblical principle, then it is subject to interpretation. Yours might be right or it might be wrong. The willingness to admit this fact will go a long way towards your criticism being considered and valued.
Take the Personal Preference Test
Check your heart for why you are sharing the criticism in the first place. Before you offer the criticism, ask yourself if you are really offering this criticism for the good of everyone or if this is simply a personal preference. It’s okay either way, but be honest with yourself and others enough to admit it. In fact, if you do this test appropriately, some of the criticism you think you need to offer you may decide you don’t need to offer after all. The less you are seen as offering criticism which only benefits you, the better the criticism you do offer will be received.
Do you want constructive criticism to be heard? These are simply some suggestions to hopefully help.
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.