How-To: Constructive Criticism

July 2, 2021

It’s a universal truth that nobody likes being told they’re wrong. However, acknowledging mistakes is the only way we can improve and better ourselves, particularly in a game as complex as League. Being able to give and listen to constructive criticism rather than harsh flame is a really important skill.

Putting Your Ego Aside

Listening to constructive criticism relies upon putting one’s ego aside, and realising that while your ego may be bruised, it will ultimately help you become a better player. If your teammate calls you out on something, remember that most of the time they are not doing it to directly flame you, but it’s to try and help you improve in order to better your overall team. The key to success is putting your team first, and leaving your ego at the door.

Timing is Key

Everybody’s emotions run high after a loss, and we all need to vent those emotions somehow. Directing your frustration at your teammates is not a healthy solution though, and can create a tense atmosphere. It’s moments like these where feedback is more likely to be flame rather than constructive criticism, as our emotions take over and our rationality slips. Therefore, it’s best to not give feedback to your teammates straight after a loss; take some time to cool down and talk to your team about what went wrong at a later point in time. Feedback is much more likely to be delivered and received in a more productive way once the dust has settled.

Language and Tone

The language you use can dramatically affect how feedback is received. For example, consider how different these two sentences sound: “Our macro sucks and we keep losing objectives”, and “I think we need to play better around objectives”. Both sentences mean the same, but the fact the latter is framed in a more positive way means it is more likely to be received by your team. You could have pinpointed the exact problem with your team and know exactly how to fix the issue, but if you can’t convey that to your team in a constructive way, the message can be lost amongst frustration and resentment.

Summary

There’s a fine line between healthy, constructive criticism and flame. It’s important to put the team first, keep your emotions in check, and choose your words carefully.

by
Rilea

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