Constructive Criticism
Introduction
Constructive criticism is a way of encouraging others to change without alienating them. In this form, constructive criticism compliments the person, then makes specific suggestions for improvement. Here’s an example of how you might improve someone’s incorrect answer to a question: “I like your thinking [the compliment], but maybe you should consider this idea instead [the suggestion for improvement].”
Goal:
The goal of constructive criticism is to critique an individual so they will benefit and improve. The best way to skillfully offer constructive criticism depends heavily on the nature of the relationships and personalities involved. Golden rules of giving criticism:

  • Give criticism in a timely manner; do not wait to address an issue.
  • Do it in private and focus on the problem, not the person.
  • Do not sound threatening and don’t overstate problems by using words such as “always”, “never” or “worst.”
  • Pose questions that let the person do the work for you.
  • Stick to one subject; don’t string together criticisms at one setting.
  • Don’t remind people of previous instances that were resolved.
  • Use “I” statements.
  • Give Constructive Criticism Without Being Phony orRude:
  • Constructive criticism has to be genuine. A person giving this criticism has to genuinely feel it is important to give it.
  • The person receiving the criticism must have some level of understanding of your role, and understand that you truly want them to improve.
  • Do not use statements like, “I want you to…” “You must understand…” You are immediately setting the stage for the individual to become defensive, especially if there is already a bad history of communication.
  • Take a team approach. In other words, sentences like, “Let us look at the following…” Now you can set the state to critique, not criticize, and then begin to construct a foundation for improvement.
  • Golden Rules of Receiving Criticism.
  • Be open to criticism.
  • Maintain eye contact and open body language as you listen.
  • Restate the criticisms to make sure you understand it.
  • View the criticism as an attempt to improve, not a personal attack.
  • Focus on possible solutions to each criticism.
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