How to Give Constructive Criticism

There are times when your colleague or a friend really mess up the situation. It becomes necessary to provide them with a feedback to make them realize and understand where they went wrong. Constructive criticism can be formal or informal in nature. Constructive criticism helps people to know about their strengths and weaknesses and has become a part of today’s professional world as well as personal life.

The art of providing a critical feedback is an important skill but tricky in nature. So how to go about constructive criticism? Here we present few tips that will help you in learning how to give a constructive criticism.

Pick the Right Time

pick the right time

Picking a right time and a place play a key role in delivering a critique. Never give any critical feedback just in the moment and in front of other people. It may become stressful. If you are dealing with a colleague, always make sure to meet at a conference room or a place alone. If the criticism is related to your friend or family it’s always better to choose a place out of the house.

  • Negative Criticism: “Discussing performance reports and review in front of fellow workers”.
  • Constructive Criticism: “Discussing performance reports and review in a meeting room”.

Mind your Words

mind your words

It’s always helpful to use positive and warm words while delivering a critique. Try to start with highlighting the strengths of a person to make him give a sense of being valued. Use positive words by thanking him for all his efforts and then move ahead and offer him your valued feedback in a constructive manner and avoid using negative or blaming language.

  • Negative Criticism: “You are wrong”.
  • Constructive Criticism: “Thanks for giving your best, but this is not correct”.

Keep your Emotions under Control

keep your emotions under control

It’s always a good practice to give constructive criticism for a person’s work and not him. Giving feedback on a person’s style can hurt his feelings and can create and emotional environment. Try not get yourself involved emotionally while delivering the constructive criticism. If you become personal or appear to be in anger, the person will adopt the defensive mode and this will beat the purpose of the whole exercise. The key is to remain calm, keep smiling and give warm gestures.

  • Negative Criticism: “Stupid, you do not know how to manage your time”?
  • Constructive Criticism: “Try to make a calendar of all your activities to keep a tab on time”

Be Precise and Objective

be precise and objective

Giving a critique on your likes and dislikes will not be helpful for the person at all. He will not be able to understand that what he need to improve on or change in future. Instead, look at the work and identify the problem areas where the improvement is required. Be specific and put all your focus on the feedback objectives, this will help the person to learn from it.

  • Negative Criticism: “This report is crap, I don’t like it”.
  • Constructive Criticism: “Excellent effort pulling up the data but the format isn’t appropriate. Please prepare the report again with more relevant data and a good format”.

It is important to remember that a criticism put in an incorrect way can lead to anger, offend and fill people with negativity around us. Hope these easy to remember tips will help you to deliver constructive criticism and can help other to learn from their mistakes and grow in their career.

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