Supporting with Constructive Criticism

Supporting with Constructive Criticism

"I think you can do better"

When I heard first this from my TL, 3 years ago, I felt my heart sink. She told me that even though she didn't notice any significant drop in my work, she could feel that I wasn't doing my best. She then told me that after spending a long amount of time in a team, people start finding routine work monotonous and she was starting to see me show these signs.

Since I trusted that she had my best interests at heart, I was able to see past my first reaction (anger) and instead thanked her for the feedback. I spent some time quietly reflecting and realised that she was indeed right. After spending a year in the team, the work had become much easier and much less challenging.

Since I had spent a lot of time in the project, I knew about the pain points that my teammates faced as well as issues that affected our users, I decided to focus my efforts on reducing them. I kept my team informed on what I was doing and also took their feedback on my solutions.

Three months later, we had made an incredible amount of progress. We were able to resolve many of the pain points that the development team and users faced. And I was able to do all of that because of the feedback that my TL gave me.

Supporting a person sometimes means saying uncomfortable things to them. If you truly support someone, don't be afraid to tell them when they're wrong. In the longer run, it's better that they hear it from someone they trust and respect rather than learn it the hard way.

You owe it to them

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