Criticism vs. Feedback...Why You Must Know the Difference as a Leader

As a leader, you are tasked with helping the people on your team grow.  One of the key ways to do this is by providing them with verbal instruction.  But it must be the right kind of verbal instruction.

You see, there is a difference between criticism and feedback.  A big difference.  And it is vital to know the difference.

Let's compare the two.

Criticism points out what is wrong and leaves the person feeling defeated.  Feedback is a conversation that talks about an issue, discusses how to make it better and leaves the person in good spirits.

Criticism leaves the person knowing what they did wrong.  Feedback leaves the person knowing what they can work on to get better. 

Criticism leaves the person feeling alone.  Feedback leaves the person feeling supported.

Criticism means to hurt.  Feedback means to help.

Criticism focuses on misses.  Feedback focuses on how to complete the mission.

Criticism comes from a place of fear and insecurity.  Feedback comes from a place of confidence.

Criticism is only negative.  Feedback points people to the positive.

Criticism says there is only one right way.  Feedback helps people figure out a better way for themselves.

Criticism does all the talking.  Feedback talks and listens.  It's a two way conversation.

Criticism is emotional.  Feedback is calm and cool.

Criticism only gives answers.  Feedback asks questions.

Criticism is done openly.  Feedback is done privately.

Criticism is rude.  Feedback is respectful.

Criticism chastises.  Feedback challenges.

Criticism focuses on the past.  Feedback points to the future.

Criticism is blame and shame.  Feedback is about knowing and growing.

Criticism is critiquing.  Feedback is coaching.

Criticism only points out what is wrong.  Feedback points out how to improve.

Criticism is self-serving.  Feedback has the other person's best interests in mind.

Criticism destroys.  Feedback develops.

Giving feedback is an art and can be learned.  Here some articles that will help you become a master at giving feedback.

The Importance of Feedback (How to Give It and Gather It)

10 Tips of Giving Feedback to Your Volunteers

Bottom line...criticism will blemish your will build your ministry.  Know the difference between the two.