We have all been in the position of disagreeing with someone and giving them critical feedback on their work or suggestion.
It is really fraught with pitfalls, especially if the person you are dealing with has a high S DISC profile– they will take your comments very personally. If your criticism is unvarnished you may end a friendship or have colleagues who refuse to work with you or refuse to permit you to appraise their work.
So how should I go about composing a successful critical commentary of another’s work: Here are four guidelines.
1) You should attempt to re-express their position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that they say, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.” This means you must listen attentively, and seek to find positive points in what they are saying or writing or suggesting.
2) You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3) You should mention anything you have learned from them. Whether new ideas, or new approaches, or new figures of speech
4) Only then, when you have built up a solid bank account of empathy, are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
One immediate effect of following these guidelines is that your colleagues will be a receptive audience for your criticism: you have displayed genuine empathy and already shown that you understand their positions as well as they do, and have demonstrated good judgment (you agree with them on some important matters and have even been persuaded by something they said). This then gives you permission to criticise their ideas.