My Perspective #33: “A critique is not a critic.” Let me explain.

There are two kinds of criticism. 

There’s constructive criticism, which is a term we’ve all surely heard before. Then there’s what I call corrective criticism

Constructive criticism is exactly that: constructive

If someone is giving someone else constructive criticism (which has usually been sought out and solicited by the person seeking insight, mind you), there’s a deliberate and collaborative effort (à la constructive), to assist in figuring out a solution, a remedy or achieve a different perspective or frame of mind. These are all good things that are less likely to become contentious and more likely to bear fruit. 

Then there’s corrective criticism. Corrective criticism, more likely than not, comes in brazen and unsolicited. It’s usually free of charge and oh, so, plentiful. 

Corrective criticism is given by somebody who already knows everything and is the guru of all things wise and good. Someone giving corrective criticism doesn’t strive to learn your thought-pattern or ask thoughtful, curious questions to help encourage your desired direction or outcome. 

Corrective criticism typically starts with and is littered throughout with “shoulds,” “need to’s” and “ought to’s.” You really should/need to/ought to do this or that (double-thumbs down emoji).

Constructive criticism = good, useful and usually more congenial to work with/for. This group would generally better conversationalists, I’d argue too 

Corrective criticism = bad, useless and usually more cantankerous to work with/for. This group is less likely to be able to handle criticism at all regardless of its nature.  

To know the difference between the two and to implement the better of the two takes time & effort and a level of humility & curiosity in order to be the go-to person that you want to be and the go-to person that your friends and family need you to be.

(This blog entry literally convicts me while I sit here and type it.)

I know I’m being a “corrective critique” when I attempt to solve other people’s problems, specifically when they’re not even present, or when I talk more than I listen.

Conversely, I know I’m being a “constructive critique” when my advice has been sought/solicited, when I listen more than I talk or when there’s a common curiosity & sharing-of-ideas, plus there’s usually a shared smile at the end.

So, without coming across TOO critical-sounding, you really should/need to/ought to join The Arena Disciplina!

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