So, I know most of us hate to be criticized and just adding the word constructive in front of it doesn’t make it much better. But if it truly is meant to be constructive, the idea is that it comes from a place of love and from someone who really does want what’s best for you.
I’ve also found that it is actually fun when you get it from a friend or colleague who you tend to laugh with a lot. I have a friend and colleague who basically told me that I ‘look’ taken. Now what does this mean? I believe in some ways this is actually a compliment(Or that’s how I decided to take it). I seem confident and content. Not desperate. I seem comfortable in my own skin. But the truth is, I’m single and I’d like to date and maybe even get married again. So what she was really saying was I don’t look like I’m available and that’s a problem.
What’s made this criticism priceless is that because our first conversation about it was so funny, I actually like talking about it. I’ve asked other people if they agree with the critique and I’ve actually made some adjustments.
Now every time I see her I wait to see if she notices I’m showing a little leg or have a shirt cut a little lower than my norm. If she doesn’t I definitely point it out and we start laughing all over again. Sometimes, its even around other people which allows me another opportunity to remind people: Yes! I’m single and looking 🙂
I believe this approach can work in the workplace too. We’re usually so serious about giving feedback and it’s usually done in a very formal way. But some little things that may just be idiosyncrasies or habits that people have formed over the years may best be addressed in a more casual, humorous way. When you can both sort of laugh about it, it makes it more of a team effort to fix it. Plus, with some light heartedness around it, the one who is criticized will feel more comfortable checking to see if they’re improving or making the necessary changes.
We respond to overall experiences. It’s not necessarily a specific ride at Disney our kids remember, but the overall mood and moments rolled together that make the memory. I believe you can change the experience of receiving feedback for an overall more positive result. So seriously, make a little fun out of your next constructive critique! I think the results will surprise you.
That’s how single mom’s lean in!