Constructive criticism (or feedback or complaint) is, simply, offering solutions in such a way that is very productive. When done correctly, it should never hurt the subject. You’re hoping to solve an issue, not denigrate. Ultimately, you’re just trying to make things easier for everyone!
Welcome to this 3-Part Series on COMPLAINING!
Okay, here’s the cornerstone of a constructive complaint,…
You – yourself – must have the solution and propose it.
Here’s a personal real-life example of constructive feedback:
One of my favorite stores is this little boutique right around the corner. I love these very silky beautiful blouses they carry. Honestly, I have no idea what material they’re made out of, but they don’t show sweat. Listen, that’s kind of important for me.
When you’re on stage or video, all these lights are shining down on you (due to lighting the set) – which makes it so hot. And then the crew has to turn off the air because, guess what? You can hear the air on the microphone! What results is a lot of sweat!
Hence, I have to find perfect blouses that aren’t going to show big pits of wetness under my arms!
Anyway, this particular store uses big slippery wooden hangers. And every time you touch a hanger, the flipping blouse slides off and falls to the floor! Then, I have to bend over, pick it up, and put the blouse back on the dumb wooden hanger. But, I don’t know how to do that very well. So, it falls right back off! Five minutes of me just trying to hang up a crazy blouse, right? Vicious cycle. And all I’m trying to figure out is the size!
One day, I decided the insanity had to end. I walked up to the sweet women at the front and said:
Ladies, this would make your life so much easier and, not to mention, you’d have so much more room, too, if you considered getting huggable hangers. They make them in this nude color that kind of looks like wood. They’re very classy. You’re blouses would stick to them! I bet it would be far less work for all of the sales associates, because I assume you’re constantly following behind customers, re-hanging these beautiful garments. And, so cool, then the garments wouldn’t get damaged! What do you say we try out some huggable hangers? I’ll buy them for you!
That constructive complaint is intended to make life easier for them and for me.
And that, my friends, is the foundation for why and how to give constructive criticism. You want to volunteer information that will promote positive differences all around!
What is the most dangerous typing of complainer? That answer will come in Part II of this series!