4 Tips for Providing Constructive Criticism

We all know that criticism and feedback are important for people to learn and grow. But there’s almost a fine line between constructive criticism and negative criticism. Of course, the former is necessary for growth while the latter simply hinders it. Now, giving constructive criticism will help you build better relationships with your peers while also helping them improve themselves. So, here’s how you can do it.

1.  Use the positive-negative-positive approach

This method is also called the feedback sandwich. Basically, you start by mentioning the great things this person has done and the positive results of his/her efforts. After that, you then give the criticism, specifically the mistakes made and how it affects the task.

Next, finish by mentioning the positive things again and giving the person feedback on how they can improve. This is only one of the many effective ways to provide constructive criticism. If you’re having difficulty giving constructive criticism, the feedback sandwich should be your go-to.

2.  Stay calm so that you can deliver your opinions well

One of the most common mistakes we make when giving criticism is that we let our emotions take over. For instance, if the person we’re about to confront is someone we don’t exactly like, chances are we’ll add some sarcasm or some light insults.

This is a very big mistake to make and will likely ruin your relationships in the workplace. Even if the person is someone you don’t see eye to eye with, try you’re best to stay levelheaded. The key here, really, is simply to not fuel the flames by acting on impulse.

3.  Give criticism in private

Let’s face it, no one wants to be criticized in public. Giving constructive criticism should be fine when there are people around, but it might still leave an effect on the other person. That’s why you should always consider providing criticism in private.

You can save the other person from the embarrassment and it will also help him/her make the improvements quicker. The only exception to this is if you think others can learn from the situation simultaneously or if they made the mistake as a group.

4.  It’s always better to be specific

Another mistake that’s commonly made is giving feedback that’s too vague. Sometimes the other person will not understand what exactly he/she did wrong or what exactly it is you want from them. Whether you’re pointing out their mistakes or giving suggestions for improvement, you should always try to be specific.

This will help them recover more quickly and also understand what you want from them better. By giving them specific feedback, they won’t have to think about what’s right or wrong and just act on the task directly.

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