Monday, February 28, 2011

You only have the right to criticize if you have the will to help -- Be part of the solution …

Abraham Lincoln was born 202 years ago, on February 12th --- his inspiration lives on …

He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help. - Abraham Lincoln

Some people criticize – non-stop. They pick out problems. They always have a “better” way – or at least they think. But oftentimes, you never hear the better way or a solution – just critique. I happens on all fronts – in life situations, career, political discourse and in business. And – it is largely unproductive. It causes people to disconnect and in work situations, one can be viewed in a negative manner – stubborn, unwilling to change, negative – all labels unproductive to career growth.

It is productive to critique and helpful to others – if one provides another idea, a solution or resolution to a problem. Those who are engaged in helping versus just critiquing are ones who are turned to in times of need. Their opinions are valued. They are asked to step up when there is a need. They are just generally valued.

Oftentimes it is in the presentation – how one communicates their ideas and critique. My wife reminds me of this all the time – You can tell someone anything, no matter how direct and perhaps biting, if you look them in the eye – and smile. Critique delivered with respect commends attention; critique delivered in any other manner commands the opposite.

Think of the situations you have encountered and been a part of in work or life, when you heard the words:

“ It won’t work …..”
“I don’t like it ….”
“We don’t do it that way ….”
… or some other statement that sounds dismissive

Where has that gotten anyone? Likely nowhere. What it can cause is the person with the original idea to be defensive perhaps and certainly deflated. Doesn’t this sound better:

“I think this could work better if you added …..”
“I like your idea in some parts abut I think it could work better if you thought about ……”
“This is a new way for us, and let’s see if we can adapt your idea to the way we do …”

Same critique – married with recommendations. You will get better results – you will be seen as a resource.

Offer opinion and critique, but have a solution. Be valued. It is one of the secrets of leadership – in life and career.

And thank you for reading this. - Dan

Dan Moran
President & Founder
Career Management & Transition Specialists
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Office: 518-261-4212
Cell: 518-641-8968
eFax: 586-279-4212

No comments:

Post a Comment