3 tips for delivering criticism

Being criticized is rarely enjoyable. We all like to think we’re on the right track, doing good work along the way. Sometimes, leaders have to give constructive criticism, and that can be a bit tricky. If you need to deliver a constructive message without making someone angry, here are a few things you should think about.

Don’t get personal: When someone feels attacked, they’ll get defensive, and you’ll probably feel like a jerk. Avoid this situation by focusing on the situation instead of the person. If someone in the office is becoming a cancer to the team, let them know how the team is being affected. Instead of “you are a jackass,” go with “Roger was hurt by your choice of words.” This will shift the focus from the employee to the actions.

Sandwich your thoughts: I’ve heard it referred to as the “sandwich method” or the “hamburger method,” but what it all boils down to, is delivering constructive criticism between compliments. You build the person up, gently let them down, and then build them back up again. Just be careful that the important part of your message (the criticism) doesn’t get lost among the compliments.

Be specific: The best way to deliver constructive criticism is to be short and to the point. Don’t waste time with words that don’t matter. Deliver your news, and make sure the person you’re speaking to understands that you’re trying to help them be a better employee.

Even though criticism can be tough to take sometimes, it’s better than being kicked out the front door.


John Pettit

John Pettit

John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. Web: www.cuinsight.com Details