There’s an optimal time to give negative feedback

Oh, the joys of being criticized.

There’s nothing like being told you’re bad at something, especially when the dig comes from someone you respect. Some, including my former employer, harangue you into believing that every piece of feedback is a gift—no matter how badly it stings. These people are probably right. They also make me want to slam my head into a wall.

The truth, of course, is that without criticism we cannot improve. However, negative feedback can easily trigger defensiveness, which is a great way to stifle learning of any kind. Even pointing out a spelling error may piss someone off, if delivered in the wrong way, or at the wrong time.

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