Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: Low Criticality

Criticality: The desire to be critical of people and things, and to pick them apart in great detail. 

Are you often more tolerant and accepting of others? Would you consider yourself optimistic and less judgmental? If so, you may be a low scorer in criticality. Let’s take a look at the behavioral traits of someone with a low score in criticality and what managers can do to best encourage their growth.  

Low Criticality

Meet Kevin. Kevin is a happy-go-lucky dude that is always going with the flow. He always sees things from a “glass half full” perspective and rarely focuses on the negative. People like being around him because he’s always very accepting of their ideas and often gives people a lot of breaks. He never picks apart a colleague’s work and always focuses on what they did well instead of what they might be able to improve.

Kevin is a good example of someone who likely has a low criticality score. He:

  • Is often more tolerant and accepting of others
  • Focuses on what is “right and good” rather than focusing on what is “wrong and bad”
  • Is generally optimistic, and less judgmental
  • Is more tolerant of the weaknesses in others
  • Desires harmony in relationships and has a strong belief in interdependency
  • Prefers reward to punishment, and desires to share their successes with others. 

Tips for Managing Low Scorers

Although low scorers in criticality can be a positive and accepting presence on the team, sometimes their higher tolerance for sub-par behavior can have negative consequences in their personal and work life.  At times, they can let things “slide” in an effort to maintain harmony in their relationships.

Whether you’re a manager of a low criticality scorer or wanting to learn how to better understand a colleague’s behavior, here are some ideas on how to effectively manage this behavioral trait. 

Recommendations for Low Scorers: 

  • Encourage them to begin thinking more critically in their environment as a first step. For example, encourage them to notice things that may not be “right” in their world (i.e. broken technology, undone shoelaces, a messy room, etc.). The idea is to identify what needs improvement, and then work towards solving the challenges that they encounter.
  • Remind them that successful people combine critical thinking and feedback with caring and rewards.
  • Relationships, going with the flow, team wins, and
     positive environments are motivating for low scorers in criticality.
  • Encourage them to give one constructive comment on another team member’s work.

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