How to Give Constructive Criticism

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by deathconn, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. How to Give Constructive Criticism

    Many of you saw my post regarding the difference between constructive criticism and shooting someone's ideas down. If you haven't seen it, I'd like to recommend reading it before you dive into this thread. The thread can be found here.

    1. Use the “Feedback Sandwich” method:
      • You start off by focusing on the strengths--what you like about the suggested idea.
      • Then, you provide the criticism--things you didn't like; the areas that you believe need improvement.
      • Lastly, you round off the feedback with
        • A reiteration of the positive comments you provided at the beginning or
        • The positive results that can be expected if the criticism is acted upon.
    2. Focus on the situation, not the person:
      • Do not make personal attacks, be as kind as possible to avoid an argument.
      • Liking or disliking the suggester should never be a factor when deciding whether or not to agree with the suggested idea.
    3. Be specific with your feedback
      • Having specific feedback can greatly compliment the opposition of the suggester's idea and could possibly improve their understanding to why the idea is opposed.
    4. Give recommendations on how to improve (if possible):
      • Giving your recommendations will give the suggester and others who share the same opinion a clear idea of what you have in mind.
      • Give recommendations that provide a strong "call-to-action", meaning only recommend reasonable additions.
    5. Don't make assumptions:
      • Only criticize what you know is true regarding the subject.
    These 5 steps will guarantee the best possible responses from the suggester; there won't (or shouldn't) be any arguments if you follow these 5 long, but beneficial steps. If you have any questions or have any additions, please post in the comments below :)

    Also, I'd like to recommend passing this on to others :)
  2. Oh look, another super-constructive and helpful post to be ignored by the ones most in need of it. :eek:

    ... I am ever the optimist.
    ShelLuser, deathconn and jkjkjk182 like this.
  3. Constructive Criticism: I really like the format of this post, I also like the 5 steps you included.
    You need to imporve the color because purple isn't my color. :p
    So, I hope this was really helpful! :D
  4. For you purple haters ;)
    Keliris likes this.
  5. Due to "certain situations I encountered myself in the past" (no comments) I'd like to emphasize on 2 items. If you feel yourself addressed by this then well... Yah, then you feel yourself addressed. Please note the "no comment" and lack of names. Thank you.

    Focus on the situation, not the person:
    • Do not make personal attacks, be as kind as possible to avoid an argument.
    • Liking or disliking the suggester should never be a factor when deciding whether or not to agree with the suggested idea.
    It is possible that you have a beef with someone and that you and that other player don't like each other. First and foremost: the person "who started it" is completely irrelevant. If you don't keep that in mind then you can and you will risk running into situations which can make you look like the "bad guy". Especially towards those who don't know any history or... those who have been trained to ignore such history (you do the math here).

    Don't make assumptions:
    • Only criticize what you know is true regarding the subject.
    In other words: be very careful with drawing conclusions, especially if you don't know all the details. Question every bit you think you know before using it. Do you really know all sides to the story?

    Well, I read it :p
    deathconn likes this.
  6. -1. Thanks for taking the time to write this out. Both posts have been well written and much appreciated =)
  7. Correction: Oh look, another super-constructive and helpful post to be ignored by everyone but the Contribution Team members. (Seriously, no one said anything positive except for those guys :p )

    Let me be the first one then: nice koala! :DD

    EDIT: Well, someone did, but the point still stands! ;)
    ShelLuser likes this.
  8. One other thing is patience/restraint. Try and be sure the person is actually asking for a critique. If the project is done and they just want compliments, then it's best to limit or avoid negatives. Just pick something that you like most about the project/idea and focus on that. Sometimes encouragement is all they are asking for.
    If they want more information they will usually press or point out a specific area that they themselves are not happy with and ask for more. You might then comment or redirect, "no, I like that part, but I would like green text rather than purple"

    When getting a typical "shooting someone's ideas down" reply, it's useful to remember that teaching is harder than window shopping. Most people don't know how to communicate quite this constructively or anyone can just get lazy and make hurtful comments.

    Thanks for the well written guide, I vote for a sticky.
    deathconn and ShelLuser like this.
  9. I am in agreement with Kephras, the people who need it will never read this thread if it they do they will not change,
    but it is a helpful thing to read anyways.