Criticizing someone

April 20, 2021

Criticizing someone

Criticizing someone's performance or behavior is important for us sometimes, because constructive criticism has a goal. The goal is to change some aspect of someone's performance, or to bring  about a change in behavior. If we do not criticize we leave the situation as it is when it needs to be rectified. It happens in organizations while giving feedback to employees, a much needed negative feedback is either given harshly by criticizing the person or it’s not given at all to spare the feelings of the employee getting the feedback.
In our relationships we try to avoid criticism too, as we think they will get hurt or might think we are bad people. But giving the right kind of feedback is very crucial because it is important for the growth of the person, growth of the organization and growth of the society.

Read more about : Conflict Management Skills

So keeping this in mind lets understand about the constructive criticism and how it should be given? 

1. The first thing in constructive criticism is to judge the behavior or the performance, not the person. 

For example, if my wife comes and asks me how I am looking in a new dress, and I don't like the dress. Instead of telling her that she is not looking good, I will tell her that the color of the dress is not good or the cut of the dress is not stylish. In this way I am not criticizing her but telling her what is wrong with the dress. 

2. Be specific and factual in your comments. Whenever you are giving criticism be specific and factual. 

For example, you don't like any employee’s work. Point out what is specific in his work that needs to be changed. Maybe he takes too long, or talks too much on the phone, or he is not organized. Whatever the specific thing is, tell him  instead of telling them that your work is not good. Be specific.

3. Do not dwell on past mistakes. Whenever we tell another person about something which we do not like and that needs to change, never refer to the past.

 For example, if you are giving feedback to your employee, never tell them that you always behave badly or you are always late in doing the work.  Stick to the present time, stick to the situation in which he has done something wrong. If we will go to the past and generalize their behavior, it will make them feel this behavior is expected of them, and people usually do what is expected of them.  

4.  Listen.

 If a person is trying to defend themselves and not taking our criticism positively, then we should listen to them. Maybe they have got some points. It's not that whatever we are saying is always right. We should listen to them too.

5. When you listen to them, acknowledge them and keep your point of view afterwards.

6.  Always express yourself assertively. 

Try to be angry, try to be reactive at that time, give your feedback assertively always. And if this way we give our negative feedback to anyone, it will not only convince the person involved to improve their behavior. And it will also contribute towards the growth of our society and organization. So try not to avoid giving negative feedback but be assertive and take care of their feelings as well.