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Robin Trehan- Why Criticism As A Leader Is Dangerous

Why Criticism As A Leader is Dangerous-Robin Trehan

If a study was done of leaders, it is likely that the most critical mistake that the majority of them make is criticizing their followers. Many managers even see it as their job to criticize their employees. By condemning their employees' mistakes and criticizing them for their faults, managers actually believe that they are benefitting the company and doing a service to the employee who is the target of the criticism.

However, criticism and condemnation should be viewed by leaders as a poison. There is nothing that can cause more resentment among staff and wreak more havoc on the morale of a team than criticism and condemnation. Charles Schwab once said, "I have yet to find the person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism... I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise". Not only is that one of the most true statements ever asserted on the subject human relations, but it is astonishing and overwhelming how many leaders do not actually apply this truism in any aspect of their management!

The difference in the reception by an employee of a criticism versus a compliment is so great, there is not a word to describe it. How much more inclined are you to accept somebody else's opinion or advice when it is given in a spirit of encouragement and approval as opposed to a spirit of criticism and condemnation?

Many leaders do not realize the weight of their words. They do not realize the strong resentment that they will arouse among their followers by just a few pointed words. Many leaders will assert, what doesn't kill somebody makes them stronger. But why make somebody go through such an experience? As a leader, is it not our jobs to improve the quality of a life and not degenerate it to a state of self-consciousness and low self esteem? What service are we doing to our followers by lowering their self esteem in a world that is already difficult enough?

Robin Trehan is management expert