Constructive criticisms are an integral part of any work environment. A constructive criticism â also known as constructive feedback â helps improve work efficiency and also improves productivity in the workplace. There are some who are wary of constructive criticism because of the misplaced notion that it will hurt their feelings. But if the person involved in the criticism knows how to give one in a positive manner then the chances of hurting someoneâs feelings is minimized if not eliminated altogether.
Here are some tips you can follow for effective constructive criticism:
Identify the issue at hand
When making constructive criticism, make sure that you specifically and explicitly mention what the issue is you want to discuss and stick to that issue. Donât try to bring other issues to the table because it will just muddle the sincerity of your intentions and may be seen as a form of harboring a grudge. This will also confuse the person to whom youâre directing the criticism because heâll be bombarded with a multitude of issues. Just discuss the one issue you have identified and donât forget to also mention a solution so that you can show that your intention is to fix a problem and not just bring attention to a personâs faults. Also, you shouldnât allow the discussion to meander towards other topics or issues.
Feedback should be positive and negative
To completely address the issue at hand learn how to give negative comments that is phrased in a healthy, non-confrontational manner and then combine it with positive comments. Letâs face it, a criticism will always deal with something negative youâve seen. Donât shirk away from this reality. If you see something negative say it, but do it with the personâs feelings in mind. Phrase it in such a way that it wonât sound like youâre putting the person down. To help lighten the situation, donât forget to mention the personâs positive attributes or qualities as well. Avoid taking the discussion towards the personal level. Keep it professional and keep your voice down. The best way to go about this is to try to picture yourself receiving the criticism. By doing this, youâll be able to choose your words more carefully because you wonât say anything that you think will hurt you if it has been used on you.
Get a plan together
A criticism is not worth it if all youâll do is point out a personâs mistakes. Be proactive instead. After youâve mentioned what you think are the shortcomings be prepared to give out specific action points that they can follow to rectify those shortcomings. If itâs possible, try to set a deadline as well so that theyâll have something concrete to strive for.
Allow them to talk
Constructive criticism should be a dialogue. Allow them to address your criticisms. If they want to explain themselves or clarify information then give them the opportunity to do so. This can help you gain a better picture of the situation. If the person is not comfortable talking to you then you can ask them to explain themselves in writing.
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