Two Ways To Be Less Critical and More Positive

Critics point out what’s wrong but neglect how to improve. 

Two reasons leaders are critical of others:

#1. You assume people have negative motives.

He’s late because he’s lazy. She didn’t smile because she doesn’t like you. He asked questions because he wanted to make you look bad. She’s asking questions because she wants to find fault.

Negative assumptions fuel criticism.

Solution: Assume people have good intentions until there’s clear evidence of malice. Anything less results in criticism.

Example of Doers and Dreamers:

Doers need more clarity than dreamers. Doers need confidence they can complete their projects and reach their goals.

Dreamers figure things out AS they go. Doers figure things out BEFORE they go.

Dreamers are critical of Doers when they assume Doers have negative motives. “Those Doers are dragging their feet. They’re asking questions to be disagreeable.”

Assume Doers want to succeed. They aren’t dragging their feet. They’re trying to figure out how to get something done.

Respect a Doer’s commitment to finish things, even it that makes them cautious to start things.

#2. You magnify the faults of others and minimize your own.

It’s interesting that the faults of others are more frustrating than our own.

Power and position blind you to your own faults. 

People say you’re wonderful because you assign projects, sign paychecks, and approve promotions.

Solution: Take a long look at yourself every time you’re tempted to criticize others.

  1. How are you like the person you’re complaining about?
  2. How are you exempting yourself, while holding others accountable?
  3. What role are you playing in the failure of others?
    • Do you listen well?
    • Do you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team members?
    • Do you appreciate the challenges your teammates face?

What’s behind a critical spirit?

How might leaders overcome being critical?