Criticism is a gift: Is it?!  Is it?!

“Criticism is a gift” I hear this so often and it drives me mad with angst. I suppose an unwanted gift is still a gift but where is the value in that?
If someone gives you, in your opinion, a hideous vase, do you:

A) Re-decorate / re-furnish your entire lounge to match
B) Put it away in a cupboard and bring it back out again when they come round
C) Chuck / give it away because it’s taking up valuable cupboard space

‘Criticism’ is the same as an unwanted gift. It’s largely ignored and more often than not thrown away after a short period of disappointment along with the person who insulted you with it in the first place.

Many people to struggle with the concept that, despite an experience in a pub or restaurant that leaves them trembling in disbelief, releasing a torrent of harsh and negative words will not miraculously turn a struggling business into a gold mine.

They tell me things like. Well, they need honest feedback and if they don’t hear the truth how will they know? Well, I say, what if I told you that your choice of make-up and clothes makes you look cheap and desperate and that you will never meet a partner looking like that? Are you feeling motivated to rush out to the shops and have a fun time re-styling yourself? No? Well, it’s just criticism!

Whether you are a Silent Customer reviewing a pub, a boss giving their employee an annual appraisal or a friend offering advice, deliver your feedback kindly, objectively, empathetically and proffer suggestions that are reasonable and achievable. Not only will you motivate positive change they will probably cherish your gift for a lifetime.