The Secret to Giving and Receiving Critique

Brandon D. Smith | November 4, 2016

I’ll never forget the day I publicly critiqued Tony Romo.

After another frustrating season, I told my friends and fellow Dallas Cowboys fans that I no longer believed he could lead the team to a Super Bowl victory. Some told me I was a “hater.” Some agreed privately but not publicly (sports peer pressure is a real struggle). Some would never allow me to compliment Romo again, or accept that I still loved him as a player and thought he was a premier NFL quarterback. Indeed, I only cared because I thought he was better than that. Romo wasn’t some third-stringer I expected to fail his team—he was a standout quarterback and one of my favorite players. I wanted to see him thrive.

They saw critique, and interpreted it as hate.

If misunderstood, critique can easily be seen as hateful and disrespectful. And sometimes, to be fair, people are hateful and disrespectful. It’s a two-way street, and rarely do both sides line up at the right attitudes. Sometimes the critiqued is overly sensitive, and sometimes the critic is a jerk.

I think we can do better.

As I’ve cut my teeth in church ministry, academia, and publishing, I’ve learned critique can be a good thing…

To read the rest of this article, visit