How does criticism make you feel?
Is Criticism Really Constructive?
I was at the LegalShield Super Saturday event at Bayview Wildwood Resort for our annual Christmas party when a couple, who work the business together, got up to do a presentation on couples working together (almost tripped over that one!). Bonnie and Darryl are amazing, we have known them for a few years now and I really respect their opinion. They nailed this one. Criticism is never constructive.
By definition, criticism is the act of judging or finding fault. When you are being criticized, it never feels good.
There are other ways to be more constructive. Take the time to identify issues together. Then come up with a plan to address whatever challenges are identified. No one needs to be criticized. Most often, we know what went wrong and being reminded in a critical manner only leads to bad feelings and likely a closed mind. This makes it difficult to work towards solutions.
Collaboration leads to solutions.
Couples working together have a wonderful opportunity to grow together. The danger is that we are also much more likely to become critical because we tend to take each other for granted. We wouldn’t treat our worst employee with disrespect, don’t do it to each other. Instead of being critical, celebrate your differences and recognize your strengths. Then work together to figure how to apply those strengths to your business.
Collaboration, not criticism, is a far more constructive approach to problem solving and planning. Yes, there are days when you won’t necessarily like your partner’s approach to something but do you really have to “win” control over every particular project? Play to each other’s strengths and see what happens.
In order to be successful working together, you need to clearly define rolls and responsibilities. Michael E. Gerber does a great job of breaking this down in Emyth Revisited. This book addresses the needs of business, not necessarily from the perspective of a couple working together, but the principles apply.
Once you define rolls, respect them! You have to trust that your partner will do their best and that it’s likely both of you will make the occasional mistake. When mistakes happen, instead of criticizing, consider asking what you can do to help. Is there something you can do to lighten the load for your partner so they can focus on a particular challenge? You partner likely doesn’t need you to judge or criticize, just help. Let them tell you what they need, don’t you be the one to tell them.
Remember, it’s about sharing a journey. It’s like a roller coaster ride. There will be ups and downs with a few sharp turns.
Have you ever noticed that there are two types of screamers on roller coasters? Those who scream in fear and those who scream in delight. Which one are you?
Scary or fun. That’s a decision only you can make.
Make it a great day!
P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful God blessed us with snow the day of our Christmas party. I’m thankful Jason was our DJ again! I’m thankful for all my wonderful friends at LegalShield.
What are you thankful for today?