Don't Criticize UNLESS...

I recently attended a "training for trainers" session by Dale Carnegie. One of the most important concepts that the Master Trainer taught us was this:

Don't criticize unless you've offered at least 2 positive comments first

Why is this important?

  • Because people become defensive if you start with criticism. While he may pretend to be listening to your ideas, he's mentally checked out of the conversation.
  • People are much more likely to accept negative feedback if they first hear something positive about themselves
  • Everyone has at least 2 positive things about them that deserve to be praised. When you praise those strengths at the beginning, the person receiving your evaluation will continue improving his strengths if you let him/her know what they are.

  • Don't offer any negative feedback until you've first said at least two positive things about the person
For Toastmasters:
  • If you're a Toastmaster and you're offering an evaluation about a speech, begin by acknowledging two things that you enjoyed about the person's speech before you move onto the areas where the speech can be improved
For Your Relationships
  • When you're talking to your spouse regarding what you'd like him/her to do better, first begin by acknowledging at least two positive things that he/she does for you: "Honey, I love that you...Also, I am so appreciative of you when you...It would help me out if you (offer point of improvement here)" Share