At some point in your career, you’ll likely need to learn how to give constructive criticism in the workplace. This is especially true if you’re managing other people. You might also be asked to do this as part of a project team, where multiple people are contributing to the output.
Constructive criticism can be a difficult and challenging task, especially if you’re not used to doing it. Here are some of the best ways to give constructive criticism in a respectful manner.
Being able to give feedback to someone who is regularly working with you is very important, whether it’s as part of your job duties or due to the nature of your work. Having an open and trusting relationship with them is also important to ensure that they are receiving the best possible feedback.
A baseline of trust will set the tone for future conversations, and it will help you deliver constructive criticism and encourage them to accept it. By having a baseline of trust, you’ll be able to provide constructive criticism that they’ll be more likely to accept. This will also help you open communication channels that will make this exchange more productive.
Balance Your Feedback
Constructive criticism should always be balanced. While you shouldn’t try to paint a negative picture of the situation, especially if there are major concerns about the individual’s behavior or work, you should also be able to point out the positive aspects of their output. This is because, while you may not have to go into detail about the issues that are being discussed, it’s helpful to have a positive perspective on the person’s output.
If a particular project doesn’t meet your standards, you can use this opportunity to frame the conversation by saying that you’ve been impressed by the individual’s previous work. Being honest is important, but you should also be able to tell the receiver that you think their performance could be improved. Giving them a few positive points can motivate them.
Positive constructive criticism should be focused on helping the individual feel that they have room to improve. This can be done by giving them something to think about and work on.
If a particular project is very good, you can use this opportunity to give the individual a few suggestions. For instance, if you’re impressed by the quality of the work that you’ve seen, you can suggest that they think about adding in some details or developing a new feature.
You should also tell them what about the work was good, as high-performing individuals tend to have goals to strive for. Merely stating that something is great can be very frustrating for an individual, especially if they don’t get to work on something new.
Before you start giving constructive criticism, make sure that you have a chance to hear what the individual has to say. Instead of assigning meaning to the actions of another person, focus on the issues that you are observing.
Keep it Specific
One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to giving constructive criticism is the type of feedback that you want to give. Instead of just stating that the individual’s work needs improvement, try to provide them with details about how it could be fixed. This will allow them to make informed decisions and improve their performance.
One of the most important factors that you should consider when it comes to giving constructive criticism is the type of feedback that you want to give. For instance, if the individual’s work needs improvement, try to provide them with details about how it could be fixed. This will allow them to make informed decisions and improve their performance.
Another important factor that you should consider is the type of feedback that you want to give. Instead of just saying that something is great, try to provide an actual compliment that shows that you took the time to get to know the individual.
Talk in Person
Instead of using various forms of communication such as email, phone, and instant messaging, it is generally better to give constructive criticism in person. These technologies are prone to causing misinterpretation, as they eliminate certain context factors, such as body language, emotional inflection, and vocal tone.
Negative statements can easily be interpreted as neutral or dismissing an issue that has significant consequences when you’re not in person. Face-to-face interactions allow both parties to ask questions and delve deeper into the issues that are being discussed.
Although it may vary depending on the number of interactions you have with the individual, having constructive criticism regularly in meetings and conversations will go a long way. This will allow both parties to be on the same page when it comes to their performance and expectations. Having constructive criticism regularly in meetings and conversations will also help prepare both parties for the feedback that you’ll deliver.
Originally published on Herrick Lipton’s website.