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Conflict Guidelines

Constructive Criticism: A Handbook

Constructive Criticism: A HandbookGracie LyonsInkworks Press1976

From the introduction: We decide to do criticism not because it is best or most comfortable for us as individuals or as small groups, but because we think it will advance the whole – the whole group, the whole organization, the whole working class – ourselves included. I’ve written this handbook for people who are fairly new to the revolutionary movement or to criticism/self-criticism. We’ll start off by talking about the goals of criticism, showing how it is a kind of class struggle. Then we’ll take a brief look at the underlying approach, which is dialectical materialism. Section Two gets us into specific practical guidelines for giving and receiving criticism in the most constructive way, and we’ll end with a short history of criticism, including some examples of its use.

From Constructive Criticism / page 13.

Table of Contents:

Part One: Goals and Principles of Criticism and Self-Criticism

1. Introduction
2. Ideology
3. Unity and Struggle
4. Dialectical Materialism

Part Two: Practical Guidelines and Exercises for Giving and Receiving Criticism

5. Guideline Zero: Getting your head together, or, The Importance of Having Good Intentions
6. Guideline One: Being Concrete
7. Guideline Two: Describing Feelings
8. Guideline Three: Stating Wants
9. Guideline Four: Explaining the Purpose
10. Guideline Five: Paraphrasing
11. Guideline Six: Empathizing
12. Guideline Seven: Preventing and Handling Defensiveness

Part Three: History of Criticism and Self-Criticism
List of Feeling Words