TEN RULES OF CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
February 18, 2020

Productivity

Ten rules of constructive criticism

By Alexander Sergeev

It’s simple enough to praise for good work. But sometimes employees need criticism more than praise. Thus it is necessary to prevent the team from losing morale. About it – below.

But first important note: the purpose of criticism is not to say exactly how and what to do. The real purpose of criticism is to improve the behavior of colleagues to make them work with all their inspiration, talent and efficiency. Realizing this, we proceed to the rules.

1. Do not turn criticism into a habit

When an employee is always criticized, the aim of criticism is gradually disappearing. An employee realizes that it doesn’t matter what he would do, he would still be criticized. For example, CEO of “IBM” Dan Cerutti tries to praise an employee seven times during criticism.

2. Do not accumulate criticism

Influence the behavior of others giving criticism in small portions. If you throw out all the accumulated criticism on the team at once, they’ll have a sense of hopelessness. This happens when the head waits for “the right moment” to talk about the problems.

3. Do not lose the temper

Everyone has problems. Harsh criticism of others soothes and relaxes. But it does not improve the behavior of people you criticize. Just on the contrary: such criticism creates resistance and rejection.

4. Do not send criticism by mail

If you prefer to avoid conflicts, you’ll most likely try to send criticism by mail. Good advice: never do it. Most people interpret your criticism in the wrong way, get offended and start complaining. It’s better to talk personally.

5. Start with sincere praise

Build criticism around praise. Show that the person works well. But specify what duties still need to be developed. Any criticism would be more efficient if to start it with something good.

6. Get to the root of the problem

Your comments and criticism will be more effective if you understand how people initially perceived the situation and what proceeded. Ask such questions as: “Explain how have you come to this decision”, “What is it based on?”. These questions will help you and your colleagues to understand the root of the problem.

7. Listen to others

Most of people can not learn anything if they feel that they do not listen. Good feedback requires empathy. If you want a person to become better, he should not feel himself misunderstood and unappreciated.

8. Do not impose solutions

Most often, we know what is wrong. We even understand how to fix it. Therefore, instead of dictating others the right decision, first, ask them how would they rectify the situation themselves.

9. Be an example

Criticism is useless if it is unclear how to improve the situation, and if the one criticizes is also far from being perfect. While criticizing, remain an example for others. Remember that an employee does not work better than his leader.

10. Accept criticism

If you believe that criticism improves the performance and make the company better, you should be ready to accept it. It’s not so easy to meet managers who respond to criticism well. But criticism is a valuable source for business development.

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