Choosing the Right Words When Criticizing

note-saying-words-have-power-Hendrie-WeisingerYou cannot criticize someone if you cannot manage your own emotions. Often, criticism is fueled by disappointment or anger, so you must have your emotions under control if you are to give effective criticism. That doesn’t simply mean you aren’t yelling; controlling your emotions is much more than the volume of your voice.

In a high-impact ExecuNet Master Class session, Dr. Weisinger, the originator of the highly regarded techniques of criticism training, shows how to convert the everyday process of giving and receiving criticism from an often-destructive encounter into a positive experience for everyone involved. In this excerpt from his Master Class you can hear Dr. Weisinger talk about the importance of choosing the right words.

He discusses these three points in the excerpt:

  1. Change your should’s to could’s. Could creates a sense of options rather than the finger-pointing of should.
  2. Change always and never to sometimes. Don’t over generalize. Always and never are rarely true, but sometimes will be true.
  3. Avoid emotionally loaded words. These words cause emotions which make it hard for the listener to understand, process and grow from what you are trying to share.


William Flamme

William Flamme

William Flamme is ExecuNet's Marketing Content Manager, where he is responsible for developing engaging career, job search, and leadership insight and delivering executive-level content across the various properties under the ExecuNet brand. Prior to joining ExecuNet in 2008, Will earned a master's degree in education and taught fifth grade and sixth grade. As a teacher, he deepened his appreciation for the written word and mastered skills necessary for managing writers who sometimes view deadlines as homework.

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