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Is criticism is a threat to survival?

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Whether you have the formal title of manager or not, you will give and receive lots of feedback during your career. If you're like a lot of people, you have a difficult time doing either. Certainly, receiving feedback often stimulates our fight-or-flight impulse.

Does it have to be this way? Is criticism really a threat to our survival?

Of course not! That would be silly.

Our brains are, however, wired to see criticism as a potential threat and it is this underlaying fear that makes receiving feedback so difficult to take.

Feedback is also very hard to give. No one wants to be the difficult boss or cranky colleague. (Unless you already are, in which case, you are likely oblivious and that's a whole other post!)

Here's how to do it effectively.

When giving feedback:

Be timely. There is no point in offering constructive criticism when it's too late for anything to be done about it. Be clear. Don't use waffly terms that leave your colleagues scratching their heads, wo…