Let’s be honest — we’re all critical sometimes. It just seems more pronounced these days.
Maybe it’s this lingering covid pandemic that is wearing me down but I find I don’t have the tolerance and patience I used to. Are you finding that too? Everyone seems so stretched out and stressed. So many unknowns and variables to deal with in an ever-changing environment. It’s hard to plan and move forward when you’re not quite sure it the route you’re selecting is still going to be available when you’re ready. You’re tired, worn down, and have a shorter wick before you explode.
And that can make you more critical.
If it’s only sometimes and not your norm, the damage and price of those occasions may not be too high. However, if you find you’re getting “judgy” almost all the time, chances are this behaviour is taking a bigger toll than you may realize.
You lose a lot when you’re super critical
I think I’m writing this article as a reminder to myself. As I hear my self-talk and explain all the reasons why I don’t want to judge others harshly, it occurs to me that you might also relate to how I’m feeling and most importantly, what I’m learning in the process.
When you frequently critique and judge those around you — your colleagues, clients, boss, or employees — here’s a few of the gifts you may be losing or denying yourself:
- respect of others
- productivity in the workplace
- morale and motivation of others
- people’s willingness to support and help you
- your effectiveness in getting the job done
- collaboration and goodwill
- your approachability
Look to their intention.
Before you snap to judgement about that awful customer service you just received or that snippy answer you think you got, ask yourself, “Did the person intend to hurt or insult me, or was it simply an oversight”? In the absence of knowing that answer or valid evidence either way, why not choose to believe that there was no intent to insult or disappoint.
Realize it’s an explanation, not an excuse.
Being an oversight doesn’t make it right. A typo still needs to be corrected. A foot that’s been stepped on still needs to be tended to. A project that is slipping in timelines still needs to meet the deadline. What it does do, however, is provide a new and fresh perspective — the other person’s. Thinking like this doesn’t excuse inappropriate behaviour — it still needs to be corrected. It does, however, offer explanation. In doing so, it will change how you communicate with that person and that, in turn, will change your relationships.
Whether you find yourself being uber-critical or not, here’s a challenge.
CHALLENGE: refrain from critiquing (in thought, spoken or written word) for 24 hours
This challenge will make you painfully aware of how often you jump to conclusions, fly off the handle, and slap judgment on others. (Boy, with all that exercise, who needs aerobics? LOL).
Offer constructive feedback. Otherwise, you’re just complaining or being nasty.
People will most likely benefit from your input and feedback when it comes from a place of love and support. Otherwise, it’s just plain criticism, and that might not be useful to either of you. Think about the price of you judging someone or something. It may not be worth what you pay.
©2021 Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Until next time, here’s to …
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
Sign up for “Marion’s Communication Tips” at www.MarionSpeaks.com
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Post your comments and reactions below. There are no right or wrong responses, just honest, respectful ones. I’d love to hear your opinion. What about this article resonated with YOU?