Feedback Is Not Criticism

Feedback is generally treated as criticism because when we receive it, we expect something negative. This is not very far from the truth, but it’s far from the initial purpose of feedback.


Yes, boss, feedback doesn’t mean you can criticize something whenever you feel like it, because this will lead to a demotivated team. Also, it doesn’t do any good or bring an improvement – the most important contribution of feedback.

Feedback is a process meant to be taken constructively into consideration by the person you are addressing to in order for them to improve performance, product, etc. It’s NOT an assault, you only want to correct a behavior and feedback it’s about future actions.

Criticism is a negative thing because it places the blame on a person/product, etc. Criticism is focused on the past, it’s negative and accusatory. You cannot build using criticism, but you can easily destroy and hurt others.

Generally speaking, criticism is based on something you don’t know how to do, not something you can do better.

Criticism doesn’t only make people defensive, but may also decrease individual and team performance. If you are a manager who constantly makes comments about the poor performance of your team, you probably have every chance that they are underperforming or will soon do so.

Last, but not least, the term comes from the Latin criticus, which means judge, the one who makes decisions – meaning the one labeling people. The bad kind of labels, of course.

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I have said this every chance I got, don’t use the sandwich feedback. It’s like eating a sandwich with outstanding bread, but containing something rotten inside, the general impression will be… rotten.

When used properly, feedback is one of the best methods you can use to professionally bring up your employees. The other way around, you have to know how to ask for feedback and also be able to use it wisely.

Happy feedback-ing!