How Giving Criticism Made Me Better At My Job

photo: stockholm streetstyle


Everybody has weaknesses. Mine is that I’m a people pleaser, I know that might not seem like a bad weakness, but it is when you can’t give criticism or be the ‘boss lady’ without talking yourself down to make people feel comfortable. Being a Managing Editor means that I have to give criticisms and sit down with people at important interviews. Criticizing someone else’s work was definitely not easy for me, I tried my best to dance around it or start with the good points and then add a few negatives in a really polite way, but often people wouldn’t know what I expected from them. Practice makes perfect, so here’s how giving criticism made me better at my job.

Giving makes you better at receiving
Once you start giving criticism in a direct but constructive way, you know that when other people are directing criticism your way it’s not personal. Criticism comes in all shapes and sizes, there’s the nasty stuff and the nice, constructive stuff – always ignore the nasty stuff, because it never comes from a good place.

Everybody gets what they want
The purpose of constructive criticism is to get the results that everybody wants. In the case of editorial work, articles have to be polished and writers like to know what they can do to improve. If you never give or get any criticism, you won’t improve.

You learn to choose your words
If you embark on an essay about everything someone did wrong, they’re unlikely to want to do better for you. The best way to give good criticism is to highlight the things that they did well and compare them with the things that can be improved, I tend to add in language that reassures and makes the recipient feel like it’s totally not personal. The funny thing is, constructive criticism is never personal!

You become more confident
Having to give criticism makes you leave all your worries about people-pleasing aside, which for me was quite liberating, and made me more confident in asking for what I want directly without dancing around the issue. I think it’s better to be direct anyway, especially when you’re working towards a common goal.

Are you good at giving criticism?


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