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Management Training - How to Give Constructive Criticism

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Posted 21 May 2009 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

Personal Development Courses

We offer both:
• Bespoke in-house training.
These can be tailored to your specific needs.
• Open training courses at locations near you.
You may find the following will help with the training of your team leaders and managers.

How to give constructive criticism

All good managers should be given sufficient management training so that they are able to give "constructive criticism".
Not destructive.

Constrictive criticism

is defined as: "A specialised form of communication that identifies a wrong action and seeks to gain a commitment to change it to a right action, without causing offence".

Destructive criticism

is defined as : "A corrupt form of communication that identifies a wrong action and seeks to emotionally undercut the person for doing it wrong"

Here are the steps to master in order to give constructive criticism.

Learn these eight steps

Step one Protect their self concept

The self concept is a mental sum of persons thoughts and feelings concerning their abilities, strengths and character.

  • Preserve-build their self concept

People act in accordance with their self concept.
As leader-managers, we should always preserve or build the self concept of others.

  • Never attack their self concept
  • Never attack a person's character. They will fight you.

Step two: Use objective language Learn to distinguish between two kinds of language: Objective and subjective.

Language of fact without feelings or judgments.

Language of judgements and feelings.

Step three: Know your purpose

Know what you want from this communication.
It is to change their behaviour.
NOT to let off steam.

Step four: Tell them what is "wrong"

Tell the person what he/she is doing "wrong".

  • Be objective, not subjective.
  • Be specific, not vague.

Step five: Tell them what would be "right"Tell the person what would be "right" in this situation. Give them a way out.

  • Be objective
  • Be Reasonable

Step six: Ask them to commit

Can they make the change from the wrong behaviour to the right?
If yes, say "thanks".
If not, ask "why not?"

Decide whether what you are hearing is a:

  • Reason (logical, true, factual, valid, reasonable, unavoidable) or
  • Only an Excuse, (Illogical, untrue, invalid, unreasonable, avoidable).

Step seven: Negotiate with reasons

Do not negotiate with excuses

Step eight: Give thanks

Thank those who do commit to a change.
Then, leave on an agreement.

Visit the Corporate Coach Group website for more information about Management Training.

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