The thought of this topic was inspired by Swami Yogananda (Self Realization Fellowship). He was giving tips on how to be critical if needed with love. Hence the topic - The Loving Critic.
My mentor Mike Smuda at one time had said ‘Feedback is a gift’. I have tried to take it to heart. Professionally I have made a specific effort to get feedback. The crux is that if someone you trust tells you something, it is typically more prevalent than just that one person. Personally, I get feedback from my husband Pranav. For me, my loving critics help me detect my blindspots!
For times, when I have to play the role of the loving critic, I first ensure the person wants to hear the feedback. I also clarify my intent. If my intention is not noble, I check my premises. Then ideally in a loving way I try to focus on strengths and talk about things for improvement. I also believe it’s better to hear criticism from loved ones.
The piece I and most people struggle with is being defensive when we hear criticism or finding excuses for that behavior or action. I remind myself that its best to be the listener at such times. Swami Yogananda advices to keep criticisms short.
I think the toughest part for me is when I get caught suddenly in unplanned criticism battle. Harsh words don’t work. I like planned loving critic sessions else it feels more like an argument and I become defensive.
Loving critic also implies your ego does not pay in it. Before finding faults in others, I like to have the mirror to see I am not coming from ego but from genuine love and intent to uplift. As I am receiving loving criticism, I need to remember and assume the other person is also not coming in from ego. Let me listen to the point, assume pure intention and reflect where to change/ improve.
Loving critic – it starts and ends in love. Loving critic are our blindspot detectors. I am blessed to have loving critics in my life.
Of a loving critic
Throwing the light
Of being a loving critic
Spreading the love
Like a mother
Of loving critics
God sent my way