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How To Recognize Constructive Criticism When You Need To (And Why It Often Sounds So Unconstructive)

Lets just say that in my experience constructive criticism can be like a sheep in wolfs clothing. What may appear to be a personal assault might actually be a valid criticism and worth taking on board. There are many reasons why constructive criticism can sound and be delivered harshly. More often than not those providing the constructive criticism find it both difficult and uncomfortable and are often clueless as to how to best deliver it. This needn’t mean that it is unfounded or malicious.


The best way to decipher constructive criticism is to ask some very revealing questions, such as those below but be forewarned, whilst it does take great courage to do so it is well worth it as it could identify opportunities for your own personal development and growth.


  1. Could you please give me an example when I have been / done x, y, z?
  2. Is this part of a pattern and if so could you offer more examples?
  3. How would you suggest I could have better managed the situation?


Do you think you will ask these questions to someone giving you criticism in future? Do you have any tips of your own to help identify constructive criticism? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

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