How Criticism Should be Imparted
"Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots." Frank A. Clark, writer (1911-).
When offering someone criticism it is important that we do so with kindness. Studies have shown that to counter one negative comment it takes ten positive comments. When we receive criticism from another, positive wording can make all the difference in how we respond to the correction. Children are especially vulnerable to harsh criticism and should be corrected in a loving, gentle way.
When a husband or wife are sharing their upset about a situation, if the tone of the voice is calm, the spouse can hear the criticism and respond to it, rather than the anger. Conversion rather than conformity and inner transformation rather than external compliance, must be the goal. Showing respect to the person being corrected helps bring about change. Angry words delivered in a harsh tone prevent the receiver from hearing the criticism.
If you want an employee, spouse or child to change their behavior, you must make sure they are understanding the need for such change. Long term change can only come when the receiver of the criticism understands the benefit and is able to receive if for his own betterment. Anger hides the message, for the person hears only the anger.
Whenever we communicate with others we must be grounded in God's love. The message of the Gospels is one of love and forgiveness, and conversion of life is possible not because we are afraid, but because we are forgiven by a loving Saviour.
The employee who feels respected by his boss will respond to correction because he wants to please his boss by becoming the most productive employee. The child who feels loved wants to please his dad, and be a good little boy. The wife who is told frequently by her husband that he loves her, becomes his partner in the deepest sense, and wants to please him because she loves him.
How we communicate with others makes all the difference in the world. If we allow ourselves to be loving, gentle communicators, we in turn receive the respect and love of those around us. We become happier, they become happier. What a wonderful world it would be if we all learned to communicate respect and love for others.
Love in Christ,
The Morning Offering (Blogspot)
Daily Inspiration from All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
Used with permission