Reading List: The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt

UPDATED: November 1, 2014
PUBLISHED: November 1, 2014

When given and received in the right way, criticism can be a powerful motivator, a catalyst for change and a valuable learning tool, writes the founder of Bright Enterprises Inc., a consultancy dedicated to improving management and employee performance.

The problem is that few of us have learned—let alone mastered—the skills needed to give or receive criticism in a fruitful manner, author Deb Bright says. Bright aims to correct this lack of education in her thorough, instructive and valuable volume. She takes on the art of criticism from both sides, identifying the common mistakes made by “givers,” such as taking a personal rather than instructive tone and failing to clearly state the desired outcome. Likewise, “receivers” of criticism can become instantly defensive, focus more on the how than what is being said, and fail to admit their mistakes.

Throughout The Truth Doesn't Have to Hurt, Bright breaks down scenarios, offers healthier ways to approach challenging situations, and illustrates how both givers and receivers can manage their reactions. (A helpful hint for regaining your composure: If you find yourself becoming overly emotional, try to shift your gaze up and to the right and think of something pleasant.) Bright’s advice, insights and coaching tips ensure that readers won’t be “intimidated or fearful about giving or receiving criticism.”

by Deb Bright, Ph.D.

AMACOM; $17.95

For now, check out John C. Maxwell’s 4 steps to handling criticism.

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.