Whether the relationship is professional such as at the workplace or on a personal level, there comes a time when you will be judged for how you handled a situation. Though everyone hopes to be appreciated for everything they do, it is only natural to receive negative criticism at one point or another. Instead of letting it unnerve you when offering constructive criticism or receiving it, it can be beneficial to get another viewpoint to help improve a situation. However, the secret of delivering constructive criticism is being diplomatic to avoid bad feelings and these tips can help.
How to Give Constructive Criticism at the Workplace
When an incident happens that you have authority over, you don’t want to let the situation linger for too long such as writing the person up at review time without any solution. The reason delay is a bad idea is that details about the issue can be forgotten over time. Therefore, you might try waiting a day or two while both parties have time to think as well as better manage emotions.
Voicing constructive criticism is easier with a cool head when said for the right reasons to help that worker advance in his or her career such as suggesting taking a specialized class. The suggestion could be enough to motivate the employee and help the company at the same time without hurt feelings.
Another secret of constructive criticism may be noticing a pattern of behavior that the employee fell into that is causing the problem. Maybe this person keeps arriving to regular meetings late. Instead of telling the employee how impolite he or she is, you may want to say try leaving a bit earlier or take a different route since traffic is so bad as well. Words once said have a lasting impact so choosing them carefully is crucial for a more productive work environment. You might also find videoconferencing useful for everyone’s convenience.
As a supervisor, you may be uncomfortable confronting an employee in person. As a result, you may just want to call or send an email to that employee over the matter instead of a face-to-face meeting. If using this method, the criticism doesn’t relate to the employee in the same fashion. Having a meeting with that employee in person is the only compassionate way to express any constructive criticism sincere expressions and emotions can be read.
After dishing out the constructive criticism, it is always beneficial to check in on that employee to see how they accepted it. You will be able to pick up on the employee’s mood. Be kind and supportive. See if there is anything you can do like suggest a mentor to end the meeting while also mentioning any positive feedback, if deserved can be constructive as well.
Personal Relationships Need Special Care
Friends and family have unique personalities that respond differently to negative criticism. If you remark about something they have done that you thought was wrong, you need to think carefully first on your motivation for doing so. Rushing in to offer your opinion can often backfire to worsen a situation, harbor a grudge or trigger the person to do the opposite, depending on the personality. Therefore, speak from your heart only when you know that your words will not fall on deaf ears.
Offering constructive criticism is never easy, but it can be done effectively in the right way with compassion and understanding.