What’s in a Carrot…A Stick?

Throughout my experiences, I have witnessed first hand some very unsavoury coaching practises which ranged from aggressive ‘do as i say or else’ to super aggressive physical prodding. On one particular community project I wondered what had happened to the constructive criticism element as staff quickly stopped coming into work and started behaving badly if they turned up. After speaking with the assigned coaching team I was told they had an assertiveness no nonsense policy and that it had proven effective on previous projects.


I was more than a little skeptical as I remember a long time ago horse riders stating if they give their horse a good whipping with a stick it would make them run faster, oh how wrong they were. The relationship between the horse and rider would never be same again as the horse falls ill to injury from the whippings and stops running pretty soon after. Something tells me the rider could have had a grand champion horse on his hands if only they had led it with a carrot rather than a stick.

Along with my assertiveness v aggressive confusion, I came to ponder on the skill that is ‘constructive criticism’ and its lack of use within our society. Yet again it seems there is a high percentage of acceptance to deliver criticism rudely and without due care and attention to its recipients. I wanted to find out what the difference was between constructive criticism and criticism.

Constructive Criticism:

  • Provides feedback that enhances job results
  • Leads to ongoing personal and professional development
  • Reduces stress and creates psychological security
  • Helps improve interpersonal relationships
  • Helps develop the ideal organizational climate

Simply put, rudeness plays no part in constructive criticism, so if you are in the unfortunate position of being on the sticky end of such behaviour please remember to reverse the Hamburger process and remind the criticiser of your good qualities and your worth at work/home/society. In a nice way of course.





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