Many people struggle with giving constructive criticism – also known as feedback. While you may be accurate in your feedback and well intended, your input can fall on deaf ears, or worse, backfire if not presented correctly. Here are three things you can do immediately to become more artful in giving constructive criticism:
- Don’t blame or attack the person. Constructive criticism is meant to attack the problem, NOT THE PERSON.
o Use “I” statements and avoid beginning sentences with “You”.
o Separate the problem from the person.
o Avoid words with negative connotations (e.g. angry)
- Give the person a chance to talk and be heard.
o Do not interrupt them.
o Let them express their feelings.
o Keep an open mind.
- Don’t talk down to people.
o Avoid name-calling and using character labels.
o Be mindful of your tone of voice and how you sound to others.
o Treat the person like a human being – your equal.
There you have it! Now go out there and deliver some truly ‘constructive criticism.’