Many people do not take constructive criticism lightly. If you are not aware of what it means, you might end up feeling embarrassed or angry. But what is constructive criticism? Constructive criticism is much like giving feedback in a positive manner. For example, a person told you that a healthy smile could improve your confidence. This is a subtle way to tell someone they need to have their dental health checked to achieve the perfect smile and be more confident.
In addition, constructive criticism is a helpful method to provide feedback that would encourage someone to search for areas of improvement. This is mainly done in the workplace, where that manager is usually the person giving constructive feedback. Meanwhile, the person receiving constructive criticism is an employee.
Delivering constructive criticism is not easy. But people should know that this plays a vital role in the development and improvement of an individual. However, it would still depend on how the criticism was delivered. If given positive comments, the receiver would know that this is all for his benefit. But if a manager focuses on all the negative aspects of an employee’s performance, they might not take it as actionable advice.
More About Constructive Criticism
In general, constructive criticism is all about providing feedback that aims to help a person find improvement. It does not necessarily mean that a manager should focus on how weak or incompetent an employee is. It’s working together to make the employee more productive and better at his job.
When a person gives constructive criticism, it should incorporate recommendations and specific feedback. It should be direct to the point and comes with actionable solutions. This way, the person receiving feedback would know how to improve their performance.
In the workplace setting, constructive criticism is mainly used to help an employee achieve their goals. What’s good about giving feedback opens the door for an informative conversation. It allows the staff to be comfortable opening up about their concerns, or better yet, offer their personal ideas. Once trust is built between employees and the manager, giving and receiving critique will become easier for everyone.
Giving Constructive Criticism
Your way of delivering feedback has to have positive notes and actionable solutions. This is the starting point for an individual to do better and focus on their job.
Let us discuss how to provide feedback along with some examples of constructive criticism.
This is also known as the “sandwich technique.” In this system, the manager would start by providing positive comments on the employees’ performance, offering specific praises such s “good job” and “well done.” After this, constructive criticism will follow. And lastly, another praise to complete the sandwich method.
Follow this tip if your employee is the kind of person that gets motivated through positive feedback. Try to focus on offering helpful recommendations rather than pointing out their mistakes.
“I would like to commend how well you manage your time given that you are a single parent. It’s nice to see how dedicated you are to your work, and I am very proud of having you on the team. However, I noticed that you seem to lose focus these days. Your ideas aren’t as fresh as they used to be. If you need help, I can assign someone to work on this project with you, or if you prefer, I can give you a few extra days off to revitalize your ideas. You are a great asset to the team, so I want to make sure that you stay motivated every day at work.”
Keep using “I” in the conversation.
Using “I” while conversing with the employee will let them know how personal it is for you to help them. The terms “I think,” “I recommend,” and “I notice” suggest that the criticism that they are about to receive is based on specific situations or their behavior at work rather than criticizing them as a person.
This technique is also a great way to site your point of view, giving you the edge to talk about what you think should be changed and what needs to be improved. It also allows you to comment on how they can achieve career growth and develop skills.
“I am very impressed with how you always come up with new ideas. But in this instance, I think it would be best if we focus on our main target consumers, which are older adults.”
Do not gear away from the action or behavior.
To effectively deliver your message, you should mention the specific behavior or action you want to improve. The receiver will listen if they understand what exactly you are talking about. Always make sure that the action that you want to improve is also related to their work.
Employees tend to be defensive when they hear words that do not seem to have any relationship with their work.
“The report you gave me is well prepared and easy to understand. I appreciate the time you took to make this report despite your busy schedule. Yet, I recommend that you add another column at the end to show the difference in our sales every week. You’re a very reliable employee, and I’m sure that’s easy as pie for you.”
Be specific in praising.
By definition, praising the staff means recognizing the things they do to make their performance at work worth the company’s money.
Every word you use to provide positive feedback stays in their mind. So be sure to know the worker’s language and review them one by one.
Focusing on their productivity, diligence, and work ethics will give them some sense of pride. That even though they have unpleasant days in the office, they still do well in their positions.
“You have a talent in presenting. I am surprised to see how well you carry yourself in speaking in front of the bosses. However, I think it would be more appropriate if you avoid too many hand signals. Nonetheless, I will surely let you present again next month. Good job!”
Understanding Constructive Criticism: Definition, Tips, and Examples (https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/constructive-criticism)