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Criticism, in most forms, is usually discouraging. But the person on the receiving end needs to be told the truth. An old proverb says “the one dancing does not realize the way their movement appears to the onlooker,” meaning it is the onlooker that can tell you how your body-twist turned out.

People like to give their opinions whether solicited for or not. It is good that as a receiver you know this, and plan ahead of your day or week who’s opinion you will take to heart and which ones you will discard like water falling off a duck’s back without getting in between the feathers.

As a giver, learn to be positive in your critique. Yes, truth is sometimes too harsh or a bitter pill to swallow, but ask yourself:

  • What is the aim of this criticism?
  • What are the possible outcomes or different scenarios if I tow this path or the other argument?
  • What will we gain at the end of this critique?
  • Will I have gained or lost a friend, student or mentee?

There are more questions you can come up with, but let positivity guide our speech in all. As you enter into a new week, think up creative ways to tell people how best they can do what they do without losing them.

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This article was first published on 27th February 2017


I am in love with words! I believe they have unbelievable powers to change people. As a writer, I paint my world with colours defined by words. As a mother, I enjoy conversations with babies and children generally. A poet, content developer, administrator and one given to details. Contact me via email: imaniking[@]; Blog:; Twitter: @imaniking and Instagram: @imaniking02

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