Posted 21 May 2009 by Chris Farmer
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How to give constructive criticism
All good managers should be given sufficient management training so that they are able to give "constructive 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".
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.
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