Every day, millions
of employees in todayís business marketplace go
home frustrated because ďthe bossĒ has seemingly
called them on the carpet for something they either
didnít do, or in many cases, didnít do very well.
Not everyoneís perfect, but the way the boss,
a co-worker, team member or anyone else delivered
the criticism can make or break morale.
Put yourself in
the other personís shoes. Would you want to be
demeaned for underperforming? Most supervisors
or managers donít intend to deliver a harsh dose
of negative feedback. More often, than not, they
simply never learned the art of constructive criticism.
Can behavior be
changed? Absolutely. With work and the understanding
that when constructive criticism is applied Ė
and applied with a purpose Ė supervisors can get
exactly what they want while giving the employee
exactly what they need to improve.
If youíre providing constructive criticism,
try these tactics.
Respect the personís integrity by reacting
to behavior or performance in private.
Provide feedback that is specific and behavioral,
rather than general and judgmental. Focus on the
work, not the person. Point out the two missed
deadlines, not the fact that you believe the person
lacks commitment to the organization.
Remain calm, and ensure you are in control
before you deliver criticism. Any feedback that
is perceived as ďangryĒ wonít do any good when
the person youíre criticizing hears your emotion
Ė not your intended message.
Limit feedback. Donít point out too many
issues all at the same time. Focus on relevant,
important observations that will make the most
impact in the shortest amount of time. Deal with
Identify the positive outcome of the desired
behavior. Stressing the positives will go a long
way to motivating an employee to change.
Provide the right balance of the positive
and negative. Use common sense to make sure you
get your point across while aptly getting the
end result you want.
We all have a boss.
Even the company president answers to clients
or a board of directors. Knowing how to receive
criticism graciously is an art form in itself.
If youíre on the receiving end of the criticism,
follow these tips.
If you want to be perceived as professional,
separate emotions from the situation. Consider
your body language. Are you tense? Are you wearing
the weight of the message on your face? Remaining
calm and steady is key to the situation, even
if the person is unjustified in making the criticism
or the criticism isnít delivered appropriately.
Donít interrupt and donít provide excuses.
This is a red flag to the other person that youíre
nervous and defensive. Let the person finish before
responding. You may even respond by taking a break
and processing your responses. If the critic is
rational, s(he) will understand your need to take
time to think.
Use the criticism to your advantage. For
example, it would be more beneficial for you to
thank the person, accept the criticism and turn
the situation around.
Donít take criticism if itís unfair. If
the person is unjustified in criticizing you,
let the person finish speaking, then approach
the feedback with what you think happened without
tattling on the other person or pointing the finger.
The bottom line
is respect. Can you provide constructive criticism
and let the recipient know s(he) is still a respected
member of the team or organization? If so, youíve
done your job well. If not, itís time for a refresher
course on human behavior. Your willingness to
provide constructive criticism Ė and accept feedback
from others Ė is paramount to long-term survival
in the marketplace.