Constructive Criticism at Work

Last week, we talked about communicating with colleagues, so this week we will discuss how to give constructive criticism at work. Criticism at work is tricky because you don’t want to come across rude or awkward. However, giving and receiving criticism or corrections at work is a normal thing. It doesn’t mean you aren’t good at your job, it just means that there is something you can do to make yourself even better. Continue reading to learn how to smoothly and efficiently give constructive criticism at work!

Timing: The timing of your feedback matters. Don’t wait a week after someone makes a mistake and then tell them what they did wrong. Give them the feedback right away, so they can start working on it ASAP.

Preparation: While you should give them the feedback right away, think about the best way to word your criticism and deliver it to them so it is a productive and effective conversation.

In-person: This one is important. No one wants to receive criticism through an email or direct message. Give your colleague criticism in person so you can communicate well and they can ask questions if needed.

Direct: Be direct and matter of fact! Don’t try to sugar coat your criticism with something positive first, your actual message may get lost.

Context: When delivering criticism, you need to put it into context. Give your colleague specific examples so you can ensure they understand if it is a minor mistake or a significant one.

Be Clear: Make sure your colleague understands what needs to be changed. You can make sure of this by offering to work on the problem together or providing them with resources to use.

Perspective: Perspective is useful because you might understand with your colleague made the mistake they did. Listen to what they have to say because it will help you reach an understanding.

When giving criticism, remember to be kind and that everyone makes mistakes, even you! Be open to listening to what your colleagues have to say. Criticism should be a dialogue and there should be a discussion rather than a one-way conversation.

If you are one the receiving end, learn how to accept criticism here!

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