How to Give Criticism and Still Be Friends (Podcast Episode 11)



I know I don’t really respond well to criticism. I’m not sure who does. Who wants to be criticized? But taking criticism is necessary if you want to get better – and giving criticism is necessary because it is often part of the job.

The word criticism has a negative connotation to it. So much so, that we have replaced it with words like, “feedback,” “review”, “evaluation” “caring confrontation” or if we do use the word “criticism” we stick the word “constructive” in front of it to soften the meaning. Yet, no matter how you dress it up, criticism is criticism. It is telling someone what they did was wrong.

Where I think we get confused is – what is the intention of the criticism and what are we supposed to do with it once we get it? Is it to hurt or is it to help?

In today’s politically correct, overly positive, conflict averse, everybody-has-to-get-along work environment, criticism doesn’t fit in all that well. No one wants to give it and no one wants to get it.

We have all witnessed or been the recipient of criticism that has been mean, hurtful or damaging. It can sap a person’s confidence and set them off course. Criticism is a powerful tool or a powerful weapon  depending on how you use it.

I’ve been criticized and I’ve been critical of others. I prefer to avoid it as it all seems very unpleasant – but it’s part of life and I always figured there isn’t much more to say about it.

Then along comes Deb Bright who has a new book out called The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change.I interviewed her and what she has to say is really a breath of fresh air on the whole subject of criticism. I invite you to listen to our conversation using the audio player above.

One of the great points she makes is that we typically think the person GIVING the criticism is the one with the power. It is actually the person receiving the criticism who holds the power. Because the receiver can question it, demand proof of it, and then ignore the criticism entirely anyway. So the real magic of criticism is to give it in a way the recipient wants to receive it. And you do that by asking.

It’s amazingly simple yet makes perfect sense. If you want to criticize me, screaming and yelling at me isn’t going to work well. For other people, they don’t mind that approach. But you’ll never know unless you ask. So, please listen to my conversation with Deb and discover how to give criticism and still be friends. – as you will hear in my conversation with Deb.

She was world class diver who had a coach that yelled and screamed and it didn’t bother her a bit. Why? I’ll let her tell you in our conversation – it’s right at the very beginning. So give a listen and discover how to give criticism and still be friends. It is possible.

Below is my affiliate link to her book on the topic and if you want more – you can contact her through her website,

Please leave a comment below or share this on Facebook or Twitter using the share buttons. I would really appreciate it. And remember you can subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes.

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  1. CurtisBisp says:

    Fine article

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