By Kendall Martin
Communicating criticism within the workplace can be challenging for all of us. One of the hardest things I had to learn the first time I managed people was how to deliver helpful criticism. I was hesitant to correct actions when I felt like it could be received as condescending or judgmental.
Some people are naturally good at managing others. The rest of us have to learn how to cross that communication threshold so that we can deliver criticism in a way that is helpful and motivational to our employees. Use these guidelines when delivering constructive criticism to employees and co-workers:
- Start with the positive. If you show appreciation and give credit where it is due, then your employees will have an easier time accepting criticism. Giving balanced feedback can eliminate the stress for both you and the employee when corrections are necessary.
- Show support. Let your employees know it’s important to you that they grow in their position and with the company. Offer ways they can improve their performance to meet that goal. Instead of telling employees what they are doing wrong, use the conversation as a way to coach and encourage. Make suggestions and ask for feedback.
- Give your attention. As easy as it may seem to send off a quick email or say in passing a problem that should be fixed, it is more effective to have a direct conversation with eye contact. Explain the problem that is occurring and ask if the employee understands. Ask for input on how changes can be implemented to fix the problem.
What tips do you have for delivering constructive criticism in the workplace?