Giving Criticism: Tip #5

2 Nov

Tip:  Engage the receiver in the solution – “How can you do it better?”

When determining how the receiver can correct their behavior, or do something better, if you do not have the solution, or know the corrective action ask the receiver his or her ideas. Engaging the receiver in how to correct the situations establishes a trust between the giver and receiver and strengthens the relationship.

For example, Vivian’s employee has been producing reports with grammatical errors, which is causing Vivian to have to spend additional time editing them. Vivian simply says, “you need to improve your grammar skills”.  More than likely, the employee is going to say, “Ok” and nothing will happen.  Here is the same criticism, but has value and engages the receiver in the solution, “You mentioned to me in the past that you would like to write a book some day. Keep in mind that if you want to achieve that goal, you need to have better grammar skills. What ideas do you have for improving your grammar?”  The employee responds by saying, “How about I take a grammar refresher class at the community college?” 

 In this example, Vivian asks her employee what ideas she has to improve her grammar skills which allows for the criticism to be well received and strengthen their relationship.

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