Tag Archives: giving criticism tips

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.

Giving Criticism: Tip #4

26 Oct

Tip: Make sure the focus of the conversation is on how to mentally take corrective action

Before giving another person criticism, it is very important to determine the corrective action, or the desired behavior upfront.  Doing this prior to saying anything ensures that the criticism is intended to help. After all, once the giver opens his/her mouth, the control shifts to the receiver. If you do not know what the corrective action is, the criticism will need to be delayed, aborted, or revised.

For example, one of Bob’s employees continues to ask questions that she should be able to answer on her own. Bob finally loses his composure and says, “You keep interrupting me with these stupid questions!  Why are you so dumb?”  This kind of criticism is not intended to help the receiver take action. It is destructive and its purpose is to temporarily relieve the giver. Even though the giver may feel better in the short run, what’s possibly jeopardized in the long run is a quality working relationship. Bob needs to “think before delivering criticism” in order to make sure he knows the corrective action upfront. Otherwise, he needs to revise his delivery. The next tip will provide some valuable insights. 

Visit www.drbright.com

Giving Criticism: Tip #2

9 Oct

Tip: Have the “purpose” of your conversation clearly established upfront

Before you begin to deliver criticism to an individual, determining the purpose for the criticism must be made apparent. Because you are delivering criticism, you want the receiver to change his behavior, because the receiver perceives the intent as positive.  This is a very important step when you are gathering information and fully thinking through the situation.

Let’s take, Sally, for example. She has repeatedly asked Billy, her spouse, to put the toilet seat down with no success.  Sally reasons that perhaps it’s possible that Billy continues to forget or that Billy is being cordial but simply doesn’t want to change.

As Sally continues to ponder over her purpose of bringing up the topic, yet again, she considers the following:

  • She can ignore the situation rather than constantly argue with Billy and cause stress in her relationship.
  • Sally can get creative and tape a picture of something that Billy would not like to look at to remind him to put the toilet seat down!

Sally’s purpose is to encourage Billy to put the toilet seat down, however, after working through the situation, she realizes that something so minor, should not be causing so much stress and tension in their relationship and decided to drop the whole situation.

Why have your purpose clearly in mind upfront?

  • Because your intent needs to be helpful, giving criticism repeatedly without seeing any positive changes causes the giver to reflect on the purpose- otherwise the receiver, as in Sally’s case can be perceived as a nag!
%d bloggers like this: