The variability of emotions is characteristic of both married life and everyday work. It is why stress resistance is required in almost any position now.
Often we hear criticism in the form of personal attacks, claims, which are sometimes seasoned with sarcasm or contempt. Any such criticism is an excuse for defense or evasion of responsibility, which, in the end, forces us to move away from conflicts behind a wall of silence or, conversely, provokes the angry passive resistance of a person who believes that he has been treated unfairly.
Destructive criticism was revealed during the inspection of managers, who were asked to recall situations when they were attacked with curses and turned to personalities. Such fierce criticism occurs during family quarrels and in such situations, spouses who felt hurt hid in a deaf defense.
In work, unlike in the family, people are less trusting and less open conversations. The framework of teamwork forces people to work who criticize each other at meetings and meetings.
In the study of such cases, John Gottman, who studied married couples, found that workers embittered by criticism constantly reflect on the situation of an innocent victim or are filled with a sense of just indignation, which of course interferes with work and subsequent constructive interaction.
Such workers are overwhelmed by thoughts typical of husbands and wives who feel victimized by unfair attacks, which indicates a feeling of “flooding" in the relationship. The responses of such employees surprised and irritated managers even more, marking a cycle in business relationships that ends with dismissal at work or divorce in the family.
In the process of analyzing 108 managers and employees, inappropriate criticism as a cause of conflict at work left behind such reasons as distrust, personality struggles, power struggles and salary disputes.
An experiment was conducted at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in which the negative effect of incorrect criticism was shown. Volunteers were asked to create an advertisement for a new shampoo. Other volunteers evaluated the proposed advertising texts. These volunteers actually received one of two prepared criticisms.
One was serious and specific, the second blasphemed the innate shortcomings of a person, such as “you didn't even try, it looks like you don't know how to do anything, or you don't have talent.” Expectedly, those who received unconstructive criticism expectedly strained, irritated, became hostile and said that they no longer wanted to cooperate with the person who made such a remark and even have contacts in future projects.
The harsh criticism demoralized them, they said they no longer wanted or could not cope with the work. A personal attack turned out to be devastating for them.
According to business experts, one of the most destructive forms of criticism is a sweeping accusation of a general nature, for example: “you have failed the whole case.” What is expressed in a harsh tone of criticism to a person does not actually solve the problem and rarely contributes to improvement. Usually after that, the employee who has been criticized feels annoyed. From the point of view of emotional intelligence, the critic does not understand the feelings of the criticized, his condition, as he negatively affected the emotion of the employee, thereby reducing the energy to resolve the problem situation.
Skillful criticism often turns out to be the most effective way to transfer information between colleagues or spouses...
For example, a high-ranking manager may address a group of developers with the words: “The main difficulty in your project is that its implementation requires a large amount of time and increased costs. I would like you to think more about your proposal, especially about the design specification for software improvements and find a way to get the job done faster.” Such feedback, instead of feeling destructive criticism, leaves hope that it can still be corrected and indicates where to start.
As Larson noted: “Hostile attacks on character, when someone is called stupid or incompetent, miss the mark. You force them to resort to defense, after which the criticized person simply will not hear any subsequent spoken word and will not understand how to correct the mistake.”
This recommendation, in skillful criticism, also applies to married life. If people are sure that their failures are the result of some unavoidable flaw, they lose hope for the best and stop trying to change something. Harry Livinson, a psychoanalyst, as a consultant gives some practical advice on artful criticism, closely intertwined with praise:
Specify the problem.
It is necessary to illustrate the main problem that needs to be solved, a flaw that should be eliminated. Concreteness is important for both praise and criticism.
Suggest a solution or solutions.
A critical review should indicate ways to solve the problem or show your point of view on the problem.
Critical reviews and praises make the greatest impression if they are shown in person or face-to-face.
A call for empathy. Your words, in any case, will lead to certain consequences for the criticized person, either inspire them to accomplish, or upset them will lead to demotivation of the employee. The right words and intonation are crucial to the result of criticism.
Praise is also feedback.
Many managers diligently criticize subordinates, but are stingy with praise. So employees get the impression that they listen to the opinion of their superiors about their work only when they make mistakes.
Speak at once.
The tendency to criticize is developed by managers who postpone feedback. They do not immediately say what the employee did well or poorly, but save up and make a lot of critical comments that are not relevant to a specific situation at the time of accumulated negativity.
Skillful criticism focuses on what has already been done and what can be corrected, and does not interpret poorly done work as a trait of the performer's character.
As a conclusion, Livinson also gives a couple of tips for the criticized:
- consider criticism not as a personal attack, but as valuable information on how to handle the case.
- control wishes to take a defensive position, take responsibility for yourself and if the situation is out of balance, then take some time to calm down and “digesting” uncomfortable information to calm
Consider criticism as an opportunity for improvement, as a point of growth, as a solution to the problem. Perceive it as a blessing. Otherwise you wouldn't know what you were doing wrong and, even worse, you would continue to do it without noticing the shortcomings. Wise advice, whether in marriage or at work, gives grounds to change the situation for the better.