Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

Management Training - How to Give Constructive Criticism

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.

Your Comments

Further Reading in Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People

  • Master your conflict management skills
    Conflict management skills Conflict management skills: Do you know any managers who mishandle conflict situations and make things worse? They would benefit from learning how to handle difficult people with more skill. They might benefit from learning how to apply the proper conflict resolution skills. There are many conflict management skills...
    Read Article >
  • Grievances at Work
    Grievances at work are generally caused by what someone said or didn't say, or what a person did or didn't do. Obviously, prevention is preferable to trying to sort out a grievance. But what if you already have an issue. Try this six-step method...
    Read Article >
  • Performance Management Training
    Performance Management Performance management is the art of getting the best performance from other people. In order to be a good performance manager, you need to know the proper principles of performance management and you need to have the communication skills that will allow you to apply the principles to others...
    Read Article >
  • How do I give constructive criticism?
    How do I give constructive criticism? Get the timing right When you are intending to give Corrective feedback or Constructive criticism It is important to get the timing right. When giving critical feedback to another, what does "Get the timing right" mean? It means four things Do it soon You need...
    Read Article >
  • Six rules for better conflict management
    Six Rules for Better Conflict Management Are you looking for some ideas on how to better handle conflict and difficult people? If so, I have some good points for you. Over the last ten years, I have taught these ideas to thousands of people who find themselves in conflict situations similar...
    Read Article >