Home > Christianity, Faith > Constructive Criticism Is Still Criticism

Constructive Criticism Is Still Criticism

Many years ago, almost too long for me to remember, I played golf.  I began playing sometime during middle school, well before Tiger Woods came along and made it cool for every kid in the world to pick up a club and hit a little white ball.

The greatest golfer in history to that point, and many would say any point, was Jack Nicklaus.  The Golden Bear had won seventeen majors and won another at age 46.

I was given a couple of books by Jack to help me learn the game.  One thing in particular stood out to me.  It had to do with gripping the golf club.

Coming up in baseball one of the pieces of advice batters were often given was to choke up on the bat.  This advice carried over to golf.

Nicklaus didn’t like this advice and terminology.  He believed that using the word “choke” affected the mental makeup of the golfer.  He didn’t like anything that might create negative thoughts in the mind of any golfer.  His alternative?

Grip down on the club instead of choking up.  That way the negative word choke was eliminated from the golfer’s vocabulary.

I believe that the same can be said about constructive criticism.

If you approach someone and offer to give them constructive criticism, guess what they hear?  Criticism.

No matter what you say or how you spin it, the one you direct constructive criticism toward is going to take it as negative.  Maybe you think they’re being sensitive, but no one hears the constructive part of the statement.  And honestly, too often we don’t really mean it as constructive.

How about we do something else?  Why don’t we figure out a way to speak love, joy and peace into their lives?  How about we stimulate each other to love?  Why don’t we edify and build up the Body?

Constructive criticism is still criticism.  It builds barriers between us and those we are trying to reach.  Let’s do whatever we can to tear those barriers down.

How do you feel about constructive criticism?

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Categories: Christianity, Faith
  1. January 14, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Good topic that needs intensive thought followed by years of training—especially during couples tournaments on the golf course.

  2. January 14, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Been on both sides of this. Neither is easy. Taking it or having it misconstrued.

  3. January 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I’m ok with it if I ask for it and I’m prepared for it. But I’ve learned to pay attention to myself and not ask if all I’m really looking for is praise or agreement. I’m not always good with it when it’s sprung on me out of nowhere. I can usually come around to seeing its value after I’ve had time, but my knee-jerk reaction is to push back or defend myself. I haven’t always been good at giving constructive criticism, and still do it poorly sometimes. It’s something you have to be very conscious of as you go, really paying attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. And how the person is taking it.

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