Dev Rangarajan
    There's no such thing as constructive critcism

    This past weekend I was at a leadership conference for my Fraternity, and there were several sessions where constructive critcism was brought up as a technique and something that should be used when providing feedback to someone.

    Here’s the problem, the goal of critcism should be to make the individual receiving it think in new ways and hopefully improve. If the actual mistake or problem they had is significant, they should want to fix it. One of the biggest marks of a bad leader is someone who can’t take feedback or be challenged. As leaders, we should strive to recieve honest feedback from our teams, and also change based on that feedback. I don’t want to hear some watered down “oh it might be cool if you did x, I don’t really know anything though, so only do it if you think it’s good”. That’s not something an empowered teammate would say, and by setting the standard for ‘constructive’ criticism to be non-offensive you also make it innefective. Furthermore, you force people to disqualify themselves when they try to give feedback, and that puts them in a weak position.

    So what’s the solution? Establish in your mind that good critcism is the mark of a good relationship. If someone disagrees thoughtfully with your point, appreciate that they put thought into an idea you had, and engage with that investment. Anyone who is investing their time in your content or ideas or project has something valuable to teach you, even if that lesson is you and them won’t work well together, that is still teaching you something about yourself and will make you a better leader in the future.

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