In the past two posts we’ve covered
- The massive avoidable waste caused by criticism, finding fault, focusing on incompetence, and
- The inner shift that lets you deal with problems without sinking into criticism.
As many have pointed out, describing this problem and solution are the easy part. The hard part is putting these good ideas into action.
Here are three things you can do today to solve problems without criticism.
- Catch yourself – Make a commitment to catch yourself criticizing (in thoughts, words, or actions) just once today. Often just knowing what types of situations trigger your criticism gives you enough insight to start adjusting your approach. Tip: it feels bad to criticize; notice where in your body you feel tension, weight, numbness, or pain when you are critical. For me, tension in my gut and shoulders tells me I’m focused on finding fault. Once you successfully catch yourself, try it again the next day. Rinse, repeat.
- Replace the Habit – Focusing on incompetence, criticism, finding fault are just habits that we’ve inherited. And we can replace any habit we choose. Use the Habit Builder to replace the habit of criticism with the habit of Putting the Problem on the Table.
- Go public – This is the gutsiest and probably quickest way to become someone who criticizes less. First, make a public commitment. It need not be to the whole world or even your whole company. Maybe just to your team at work or family at home. Describe to them what you are doing and why. Then, ask for their support. Give them permission to catch you criticizing. Ask them to remind you of your commitment and brainstorm ideas for addressing problems without criticizing, finding fault, and focusing on incompetence.
Give it a try! There’s much to gain. Then tell us here in a comment how well it went.
In your corner,
(PS: I double-dog dare you to try the third one.)