While brainstorming new ideas, you often get disappointed by the criticism made by your colleagues or seniors. In your opinion criticizing an idea might hurt people’s feelings, inhibit creativity, and possibly give emotional scar to someone for life. But do you know welcoming all ideas with compliments, even if they are stupid or mundane, is not always the best way to support creativity?
Well, It might seem wrong to you, but for the foundation of an outstanding idea, constructive criticism is necessary.
It means when a person proposes an idea; then it is essential to point out the flaws (if any) in a friendly manner; instead of saying ‘Yes’ to it.
Encouraging constructive criticism during the ideation gives us a new perspective and improves the outcome.
Why should you take constructive criticism? Let’s dive into reasons:
1.Blindly praising every idea promotes mediocrity -When your every idea, even the boring one, is praised, your ability to produce great ideas degrades. Ultimately it becomes hard for you to distinguish good ideas from mundane ones.
2. Constructive criticism about an idea commences a necessary conversation – When ideas cannot involve both positive and negative comments, you cannot probe into them. Constructive criticism helps you dig deeper to identify and analyze the weaknesses; and creates room for improvement.
3. Criticizing an idea presents its value. If your idea is criticized, it grabs everyone’s attention as well as yours. You start thinking about its strengths and weaknesses, and it becomes crucial for you to prove its worth to others. It kicks you to address the shortcomings to give the idea a new shape.
4. Constructive criticism gives guidance – It also plays a vital role in checking the viability of your idea. When someone criticizes your idea, it causes you to explore a new direction to make it viable.
People often worry that allowing criticism of ideas will lead to negativity and hamper new ideas’ germination. But in actual, constructive criticism acts as a scrubber that removes your idea’s stains and makes it shine. It is also applicable at the organizational level, where people’s intention is not to bring the individual’s idea down but to make a ladder from criticism to achieve the idea’s goals.
As stated by Jeffrey Baumgartner’s anti-conventional thinking technique (ACT), there are three rules to criticize an idea:
1.It’s necessary to criticize boring and conventional ideas
2.You should never criticize the person. Try to criticize ideas only
3.Let the originator of the idea defend it when you are done with criticizing
Suppose you propose an idea after a brainstorm. You consider it excellent, but you also need others’ views on it to take it forward. So, you go to a colleague who first addresses the flaws in it, provides constructive feedback, and then suggests a possible way to overcome the shortcoming; recommends Idea B.
You repeat this process with other colleagues who suggest Ideas C, D, etc. After getting all the criticisms and flaws, you present your own views to defend your idea. This would trigger a conversation around the concept, and in the end, combining the best features of criticism with the best of ideation would lead to a refined and conclusive idea.
When you use these rules, make sure your criticism is meaningful, and it doesn’t hurt the ideator’s feelings and sentiments.
If you are brainstorming new ideas, it is always better to experiment with ideation that welcomes criticism. This not only boosts the creative process and produces great ideas but also improves your team building capabilities.