INFO Guide to Constructive Criticism

Red Cell

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I would like to breakdown how to give good, constructive feedback; in the hopes that this will benefit the community. I've broken down how to define and display constructive criticism into 3 specific areas.

Defining constructive criticism:
Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. In collaborative work, this kind of criticism is often a valuable tool in raising and maintaining performance standards.


1) Intent

Typically, the intent of the criticism will determine how useful it is. If giving criticism, always ask "What is my reasoning for giving this criticism?". If you let negative emotions get the best of you, it will influence your criticism in a negative light. Your criticism might be viewed as an attack and the creator may disregard your thoughts all together, thus accomplishing nothing.

If you make your intent known that you actually want to see the creator improve in their work, and you remove negative emotions, you typically get a more positive response. The old saying "you get more bees with honey than vinegar" always rings true when interacting with humans. No one wants to be yelled out, put down or belittled and aside from bolstering egos, is rarely constructive in nature.

So make sure your intent is right in that you actually want to help them proceed forward and be successful in their endeavors rather than just spewing hate in their face. Basically, come from a place of caring and be prepared to help.

2) Empathy

No, not sympathy, but empathy. Walking a mile in someone's shoes to get their perspective on things. Always take into account who you are talking to. Realize your expectations, skills, abilities, time, money, resources, etc. might not be the same as theirs. Understand that they are not you and at the end of the day, criticism is usually largely based on people's perceived ideas (AKA opinions) on the content.

Try to take into account their personalities in finding the right way to get the point across that will be the most beneficial for them. Even if it's not the way you would do it, if you really want to be constructive in your criticism, actually go the extra mile to make sure they are set up for success by understanding your "target audience" and knowing what will actually help them succeed.

3) Helpfulness

The last, most important and rarely done is actually being helpful with your criticism. Although the standard today for criticism is to say a few things and walk away; this lack of involvement shows that you are not willing to contribute your own resources to help make this person's creation a success. The old phrase "talk less and do more" rings true even when giving constructive criticism. You should always do your best to give out valid and helpful tips, strategies and goals for the creator of the content. But most importantly, you should be willing to always be there to help from the sidelines. You should make you resources available to the creator if you truly do care (point #1) about helping this person out.
 

zeus9860

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I got the same reaction when i read the subject, i skipped it too so to say. Sorry. :roll:
 

TheOysterHippopotami

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I was actually being sarcastic, fyi. I think that Red Cells post is great and that it's something a lot of people in the MSC community need to hear. With patches being less common than usual, I think the post comes at a good time.
 

Red Cell

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Sticky please, so everyone can bask in the collective goodness that is teamwork.
 

Thothie

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Hrmm... I canna sticky in this section - you'll have to pester Lord K.
 

zeus9860

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Dafuq.
 

Everquest

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This should be in every forum really. If you would fear getting punched in the face in the real world if you said it out loud in public, you should not type it on the internet. This assumes you are not an idiot and just love to get punched in the face on a daily basis however... :?
 
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