How to Give Constructive Criticism: 6 Helpful Tips | Personal Excellence
“People seldom refuse help, if one offers it in the right way.”
A. C. Benson.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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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 sensitive to others’ feelings and offer feedback when you feel the other person is ready to take it. Else, you may come across as imposing your views on others, especially if you repeatedly tell them what to do without them requesting it.
Also known as PIP (Positive-Improvement-Positive), it consists of “sandwiching” a critic between two positive comments in the following manner:
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 critique.
The feedback sandwich method is most appropriate when you are giving criticism to people you don’t know or don’t know well. Otherwise you may come across as very aggressive and rude if you just jump right into the critique.
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 specific.
An specific feedback that doesn’t target the person is easier to understand and act upon.
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 the person feel bad as they can’t do anything about it, even if they want to.
Understand the person’s situation and his/her objectives, then provide your critique based on that. And if you need to talk about something out of their control, balance it out by talking about things they can control.
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 with your suggestions and (b) briefly explain the rationale behind the recommendation. Also, try to limit examples to one per point to make your case more impactful.
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.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
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.
"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...
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.
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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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.
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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