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How to Give Constructive Criticism: 6 Helpful Tips | Personal Excellence

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How to Give Constructive Criticism: 6 Helpful Tips | Personal Excellence
Have feedback but you are not sure how to put it across? Here are 6 helpful tips to provide constructive criticism that's tactful and helpful at the same time. Tip 1) Use the Feedback Sandwich. Tip 2) Focus on the situation, not the person. Tip 3) Be specific with your feedback.

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“People seldom refuse help, if one offers it in the right way.”

A. C. Benson.

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On Giving Constructive Criticism

Sharing and receiving feedback is necessary for improvement. If you have ideas on how someone can improve, don’t hold your ideas back, share your criticism constructively.

Of course, be se...

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1. Use The Feedback Sandwich

Also known as PIP (Positive-Improvement-Positive), it consists of “sandwiching” a critic between two positive comments in the following manner:

  1. Start by focusing on the strengths ...

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2. Focus On The Situation, Not The Person

  • Comment on the issue, not the person. Example, “The clothes are dirty” and not “You are dirty.”
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Comments like “I’m so tired of…” or “You’re s...

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Why The Feedback Sandwich Works

The feedback sandwich lets the receiver know that you recognize what they did right and that you are on their side, thus not attacking them. The receiver then becomes more receptive to your ...

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3. Be Specific With Your Feedback

The more specific your feedback, the more actionable it is for the one receiving it. Example: Asking for an article on communication is vague while asking for one on public speaking is speci...

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4. Comment On Actionable Things

To help people improve talk about things they can do something about, rather than those out of their control. Critiquing the former makes your criticism constructive; critiquing the latter makes th...

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5. Give Improvement Recommendations

Give recommendations on what the person can do to improve so they have a clear idea of what you have in mind and get a strong call-to-action.

With your recommendations, (a) be specific...

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6. Don’t Make Assumptions

Provide criticism within what you know as fact about the person and the subject. Avoid assumptions as they make you and the person look bad — especially when your assumption is wrong.

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Making Your Feedback Specific

  • Focus more on objective points than subjective opinions. Saying “I don’t like it” is less helpful than stating the specific things you don’t like.
  • Break your feedback into ke...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

9 Tips To Give Constructive Criticism

  1. Use the "feedback sandwich" method when advising. Give a positive comment, then the feedback that could potentially be construed as criticism, and finish by reiterating the positive. Th...

Constructive Criticism

However needed it may be, people often view criticism as hurtful and feel attacked. And that puts them on the defensive, meaning they won’t be able to truly absorb what’s being criticized.

That’s why constructive criticism is a helpful skill to develop when dealing with other people. Knowing how to do it drastically affects how the message is received.

Use The "Sandwich" Approach And Be Specific On The Expected Results

"Sandwiching" your critique between two positive things about the person's softens the blow, and avoids it coming off like an attack. The mix of positive and negative makes people more likel...

Give Feedback, Not Instruction

Keep your criticism to your observations, and the impact they have. Don't try to fix the problem, just identify it.

Offer to help fix the problem, and to support the solution that the other person comes up with. Unless you know how to do the work your coworker is doing, don't try to solve it for them—they'll ignore your feedback and you.

Give Kind Criticism, And Remember The Point Of It

The point of your criticism is to help someone improve, or to correct a problem, and your feedbacks should carry that message. If you’re doing anything but that, reevaluate whether you actually have legitimate criticism to give, or you just need to talk to someone.

Offer positive and specific suggestions to alleviate the issue at hand, or identify the problem clearly without talking about the person, just the issue.

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Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is a more important component of the feedback cycle than positive feedback. 92% of people say in a study that negative feedback improves workplace performance.

Why are people scared of Feedback

Normally people react with caution and fear towards negative feedback, but it is much better than no feedback at all.

Informing the colleague/subordinate/client/customer or individual about something that is not working, is always beneficial, and builds transparency and trust.

Check how it impacts the person

The fundamental goal of giving feedback is to help the person you’re giving it to. They should realize that you are not trying to make them feel bad, and this is an exercise to help make them better.

How it impacts each individual is going to be different so a tailor-made approach is required. 

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