How do we communicate when something needs to change? If we disapprove of another’s methods or know the solution is wrong, how do we get that across to others? Do we use criticism or feedback? It is likely some of us consider these two sides of the same coin, but there are important differences between each. Criticism keeps the focus on the wrong action. It communicates who or what we believe is at fault and places a judgement on the actions of others. Feedback may find fault in a particular action and still holds someone or something accountable, but provides ideas and instruction for improvement. When we give feedback, we provide a roadmap to what we want to see and do not make personal judgments on particular actions, just ways things could be done better. Think back to the last time you made a mistake and which types of comments were more helpful. Was it the critical, problem-focused comments? Or was it the solution-focused suggestions for improvement?


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