• James Walton

Do This Before You Criticize Someone

"This job would be easy if it weren't for the people."

"Employees don't care. I have to watch them closely the entire time."

"How is this not common sense to them?"


I've heard all these things while working with clients in the past month.


The desire to criticize is pervasive. But the outcomes of criticism are rarely effective because it simply complains about the past and does little to influence future behavior.


So the next time you feel the need to criticize someone, ask these questions instead:

What’s motivating this critical urge? - if it's revenge or a desire to "give them a taste of their own medicine", stop. Let Benjamin Franklin mentor you here and count to 100. Then respond.

How am I guilty of the thing I’m criticizing? - Let he without sin cast the first stone.

How would I react if someone said something similar to me? - Let empathy guide you, if you wouldn't like to spoken to in the way you're about to speak, pause and reconfigure your approach

What positive result do I hope will come of saying this? - begin with the end in mind. Determine the future work outcomes and personal relationships you desire to cultivate and pursue behaviors that will get you there.

Am I deriving pleasure from criticizing? - don't let your personal emotions drive your behavior.


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h/t The Book of Beautiful Questions

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