The Gift of Criticism

A seasoned CEO of a large corporation and I were discussing her leadership team. We were talking about the importance of giving solid feedback when she said: "There are times when feedback may not be heard. My mother used to tell me, 'I did not ask for your gift of criticism.'" This executive continued, "I try to present feedback in a constructive manner, especially if it is hard to hear."

As leaders, we sometimes forget that how we deliver feedback is just as important as the information we are conveying. Arrogance or apathy will drive us to give little regard to our approach. Communicating successfully to someone within our circle of influence means taking the time to prepare our presentation. 

It is the disciplined and effective leader who guards their tongue. Delivering direct and meaningful feedback is essential for every leader. However, spewing out criticism in the name of feedback is not only unproductive, it is disrespectful to the receiver of our words.

Kudos to this wise leader who reminded me ofthe importance of our delivery. Choose to offer the gift of effective feedback instead of thoughtless criticism and you will make a difference!