Criticism is an effective working tool that helps to improve the work of the staff and the company as a whole. However, in this matter, as in any other, the main thing is not to go overboard. In addition, consistency of phrases is important.
According to this principle, criticism is divided into constructive and destructive. The first brings a positive effect, so it must be in communication. Destructive type is better not to use, because in most cases, it will cause only anger of your opponent.
Let’s consider what is constructive criticism and how to learn how to criticize others and get the most out of it.
What is the right way to criticize people?
Civilized society has long ago reconciled itself to the idea that criticism is part of everyday human communication. It is hard to do without it, especially in situations that directly depend on one’s activities. Criticism is an assessment of actions, work, and an opportunity to make it better and more effective.
However, criticism can be unpleasant for people. So how to make criticism constructive, to present it so that a person does not feel insulted and received a charge of inspiration for further work?
First of all, it is necessary to understand that it is only a way of pointing out errors, paying attention to an accomplished fact. The purpose of criticism is never to humiliate, only to be positive and to set up a constructive dialogue. Properly served criticism helps to strengthen relations within the team and unite to solve a difficult problem.
1. Define the purpose and meaning of critics
Before you start a conversation, consider whether it will bring a positive result, how it will affect the further work of the person. For criticism, the situation must be truly meaningful. Determine for yourself the goal you are pursuing through criticism, and proceed carefully so as not to frighten the employee.
If you yourself are nervous or enraged at the moment, it is highly inadvisable to start a conversation so that your personal emotions don’t damage the case and touch the employee’s personality. Otherwise the situation could get out of control and escalate into conflict.
2. Prepare the person for the fact that you are going to criticize him
Experts recommend approaching the question of criticism thoroughly from the standpoint of emotional comfort. You don’t want to turn the action into an attack from around the corner. Think through the conversation, maybe write down all the points that you think are wrong and that you want to point out.
Also give your employee time to prepare for the conversation, compose a speech, prepare arguments for the defense. It is forbidden to start a conversation forcibly. In this case it will not be a partnership, and planned destruction of the employee and devaluing it as a specialist. Yes, and aggression will be a response to your aggression. And when both sides shout, not only is there no constructive criticism, but no conversation at all.
3. Base your critique on facts
Constructive criticism contains concrete facts. You can’t point out a person’s mistakes without confirming his mistakes.
Before engaging in a conversation, it is advisable to take all theses points to a separate list, review them, and make sure once again that the employee’s actions are erroneous. Think through what evidence you will use to prove yourself right. This will save you from accusations of personal interest, bias, and therefore bias.
Phrases such as “you are good for nothing” is not recommended. Such phrases are taken at a personal expense almost always.
4. Be prepared for objections. Prepare your arguments
Before you start talking to an employee about his or her mistakes, play the situation in your mind so that it looks perfect, the way things really should be.
First of all, you should be interested in the priorities, the values that are important to the company, then move on to the places where they really should be, but they were not. The employee needs to know where he or she made a mistake. Only this way the employee will understand it, correct it, and in the future will not allow it.
5. Treat the person being criticized with respect
People most often perceive criticism as a negative factor. Emotions are intensified if the person being criticized feels aggression. Therefore it is very important to tune in positively. This will help the employee feel that the problem is being solved, and you understand that mistakes can happen to anyone.
If a person is criticized part of him or her has a defensive reaction and unpleasant emotions. These are all negative factors: the criticized person feels humiliated, the brain is unable to hear arguments and analyze the situation. The required conclusions will not be drawn. Therefore, it is important for you to learn how to criticize people gently, with respect. This is the key to solving the problem.
6. Don’t forget the praise
To mitigate unpleasant emotions for the person being criticized, you must first point out the positive, correct actions that have benefited the common cause.
Praise always has a positive effect, letting the person know that he or she is not being attacked. When the employee is open to further conversation, calm and confident, you can point out the mistakes made. Management’s recommendations for correcting them will be interpreted as fair, and therefore easy to implement.
After the situation has been resolved, gently give the employee some advice. This psychological technique will reassure him, make him feel cared for and help avoid a problematic situation in the future. Praise first, remarks later. This is what being constructive сriticism is all about.