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Productive Conflict – Hypercriticism

Hypercriticism is reviewed in the Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Reference Guide and this is what it says:

“Hypercriticism is an indirect strategy we use to get back at someone. We decide that we’ll make a point of objecting to as much about the person as possible. We shoot down their suggestions. We find holes in their logic. We scrutinize their output for mistakes. Basically, we try to punish the person. It’s a strategy that’s particularly appealing when we recognize that the thing we’re actually mad about is a little on the petty side. We know we can’t complain about it directly. And so, becoming hypercritical is a way of acting on our anger without having to admit that we’re really angry. Ask yourself: What can I do to more directly express my frustration?”

Is hypercriticism more about pointing out that “you are wrong” or more so “I am right”? Our egos can get in the way of corrective criticism. We all can benefit from well phrased and timed comments designed to produce positive and productive results. If you have ever felt nitpicked, you know how hurtful, harmful, and deflated this can make you feel. When this happens to me, I find myself to first, buy into the comments, followed by getting defensive, and ending in dismissing any criticism. How do you handle it?

To view the previous blogs in this Productive Conflict series, click the links below:

You can find more information including a video on Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict here:


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