Criticism without an action plan is worthless.
Give people direction or keep your mouth shut.
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... and if you must amplify your message, say where your data came from. Never try to simultaneously be a good cop and a bad cop.
Make it clear that your goal is constructive change.
If people feel you support their fundamental views and value them, the change will be easy and natural.
Objectivity is crucial to constructive criticism.
The goal is to communicate that a performance standard has not been met. Your sentiments/judgments are irrelevant.
When preparing to tell someone what they did wrong, avoid using qualifications like "With all due respect," "No offense," or "Don't take this the wrong way" to soften criticism.
For example, in saying "You were lazy in preparing this report" you may think you are helping the other person to improve a skills; instead, it addresses your assumption about the person's attitude toward their work.
... when telling someone they're wrong.
Be concrete and don't sermonize, even if the person that's receiving your criticism knows she did something wrong.
I like jazz music and bacon. Learning new things is one of my obsessions.
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