complaining-explainingEven the best intended (or most needed) constructive criticism is often not accepted constructively. Most of us could benefit from being more “coachable” and we all could probably be better at giving feedback. One powerful technique is to “Skip the Complaining, Go Straight to the Explaining.”

We tend to tell people what they are doing wrong before we tell them how to do it right. Even when we are correct it rarely goes over well. People tend to still be in defensive mode, bristling at the implied or perceived assault to their competence.

So why not skip the wrong part and go directly to the right part?

I appreciate it when my wife keeps me informed and generally she is excellent about it. On those rate occasion when she does not I’ve found that “I love it when you call,” goes over a lot better than “Honey, why didn’t you call?”

In business it can be as simple as reminding someone of a time when they got it right and saying you look forward toward to them achieving the same results again.

Closing Quotes:
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  — “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie; 1888–1955

“We have to be able to criticize what we love, to say what we have to say “cause if you’re not trying to make something better, then as far as I can tell, you are just in the way.”  — Ani DiFranco; 1970–

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”  — Frank A. Clark; 1943–, English former footballer and manager, and former chairman of Nottingham Forest. Clark played in over 400 games for Newcastle United before moving to Nottingham Forest where he won the European Cup