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Archive for August, 2013

The End of Criticism at Work-Part 2

Last month we took at look at the perils of working where there is criticism.
The ‘zero criticism initiative” is underway with numbers of my clients, and the results are already showing promise.

A Quick Review

Improving effectiveness and productivity at work will be greatly enhanced if people are employed in a stable environment.
For this to happen we must end all criticism in word, body language and tone.
We need to learn to ask for what we want rather than complain about what we don’t get.
We then need to learn to be generous with appreciations.
If those things happen on a consistent basis, your workplace can be transformed.

A Little More on Criticism

Criticism hurts.

It is “pathologically dysfunctional behavior” says therapist Harville Hendrix.
Before you criticize, make sure you can go through the following six filters (as outlined in Sydney Simon’s book, Negative Criticism). The questions are Sydney’s; the responses in parentheses are mine.

1. Is the person in any shape to receive this criticism right now?
(Of course not. Who wants to be criticized?)
2. After you criticize, are you willing to stick around long enough to “pick up the pieces?”
(Since criticism is a reactive behavior, the answer is “probably not.”)
3. Has this person heard this criticism before? How many times?
(Once is too many.)
4. Can the person do anything about it?
(Regardless of their ability to do something about the situation, criticizing them is not helpful.)
5. Are you sure none of your own hang-ups, deep- seated psychological needs, hurts or fears, are causing you to make this criticism?
(Almost assuredly the answer is going to be “yes!”)
6. Are you sure what this person needs is another criticism? Wouldn’t they be better off or better motivated to change by some telling them the behaviors you would like instead of the behaviors you don’t want?
(NO ONE needs another criticism.)

So criticism is out. You may need to correct behavior, but you may not criticize the person. It’s against the rules.

The Experiment

Last month I asked one of the managers at one of my client companies to try an experiment.
She picked three employees in her department. With one she had a very good relationship. With another she had an okay relationship and with the third she had a somewhat difficult relationship.
Her task was to give each of the three employees at least one appreciation a day for four weeks. She was not allowed to repeat the appreciation, so each day brought a new appreciation.
At the end of the twenty working days, these were some of her observations:

It only takes 60 seconds to compliment someone. It can make their day.

It made me feel good to make someone else feel good.

It made me look at the person in a positive way instead of being annoyed or frustrated.

There was a definite change in my interaction with the difficult one.
We have a better relationship.

I got to know the “medium” one better. Because I was complimenting her, I found myself paying attention to her.

There was no real change with the “easy”one. I’m used to complimenting her.

It was very helpful and I won’t stop there!

It’s very simple. We manifest what we focus on. More appreciations will equal less criticism.

I am convinced the removal of criticism and all other forms of negativity are key to improving all of our relationships.
But don’t take my word for it.
As soon as you finish reading this, tell someone with whom you work something you appreciate about them and watch their reaction.
Do it.
Right this minute.
Right now.
See how you feel.

CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488