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We Need Correction, Not Criticism

Last year my Mom had a brief confrontation with one of her students over the dress code.

She teaches on an active farm, thus, wearing the proper clothes during class ensures student preparedness and safety. Due to a revision of the dress code a year prior, her and the student had to come to an agreement on whether or not what the student was wearing was a potential "threat to the safety" of the student. While not a fun spot to be in as a teacher, my Mom saw it as her responsibility to provide correction and ensure the student was safe during class.

A request to put on one the school shirts was not only ignored, but her friend immediately rebutted in defense, "Oh so it's her fault that other people want to stare at her?"

What was meant to be the correction of an action, was taken as a criticism of the person.

Criticism is judgement. Correction is guidance. Criticism focused on the person. Correction focuses on the action.

In society today both sides are getting it wrong. For those looking to provide guidance, we too often criticize before correcting. For those needing guidance, we are too quick to hear correction and interpret it as criticism.

No one is perfect. If you need correction and you know it (clap your hands), be open to receiving it.

If you are in a position to provide correction, be sure to focus on the action needing corrected, not the person you're correcting.

While not a popular opinion, a line between right and wrong still exists. To ensure society lands on the side of right consistently, we will need those willing to provide correction and those willing to receive it.


Before you provide correction, write down what you are correcting to ensure it's an action and not a person.


When has providing correction gone over well? What characteristics of that conversation can you utilize in the future?


"If another person does wrong, go and point out the offense, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." - St. Matthew

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