So many times throughout our lives we might be given criticism — some that we agree with, and some that is hard to hear. But giving criticism is equally important as receiving it and taking it to heart.
I recently took part in a meeting that was set up by a friend of mine with another startup founder. It was a great chat and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity, but afterwards my friend had a few words of criticism for me. They weren’t harsh, but spoken plainly and succinctly. His thoughts made sense and came across in such a way that I immediately accepted them, but it made me realize something that I don’t think enough of us do on a regular basis — telling colleagues, friends, family, and others what’s on our mind.
It’s my belief that the main hesitation we tend to have with giving some constructive criticism to someone we care about is that it might somehow hurt their feelings. But in reality, by not being vocal we’re more than likely setting them up for failure in the future. Instead, I think it might be better if we were more open with our opinions and gave transparent, thoughtful criticism to set people up for success. I for one will do my best to not bottle my opinions around my colleagues, friends, etc. going forward and speak my mind in a helpful way.
Don’t be afraid to deliver some helpful criticism, in reasonable amounts obviously, to those you care about. Sometimes it might not be easy to do, and to those on the receiving end it may not be easy to take, but it’s good for all parties at the end of the day.