12 Ways to Criticize Effectively

Here are 12 guidelines to remember the next time you have to tell someone that he or she has done something wrong:

  1. Identify the behavior that you want to criticize. Direct your criticism at action, not the person.
  2. Make criticisms specific. Not “You always miss deadlines”; But: “You missed the March 15 deadline for your report.”
  3. Be sure the behavior you’re criticizing can be changed. Foreign accents, baldness, and other things tangentially related to some business dealings cannot always be changed.
  4. Use “I” and “we” to stress that you want to work out the problem together, rather than making threats.
  5. Make sure the other person understands the reason for your criticism.
  6. Don’t belabor the point. Short and sweet; no lectures.
  7. Offer incentives for changed behavior. Offer to help the person correct the problem.
  8. Don’t set a tone of anger or sarcasm. Both are counterproductive.
  9. Show the person you understand his or her feelings.
  10. If you’re putting your criticism in writing, cool off before writing the critical letter or memo. Be sure only the person it is intended for sees it.
  11. Start off by saying something good.
  12. At the end, reaffirm your support and confidence in the person.
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9 Responses to “12 Ways to Criticize Effectively”

  • Aldo says:

    Myo and Joseph, thank you for your input.
    There are many resources on the powertochange.com sites.
    If you would like to partake of them, just type in a subject in the search bar above.
    You can also chat one on one with a real person by clicking the Talk to a mentor button at the left bottom of this page. He/she will be happy to discuss any issues you have with you.

  • Myo says:

    Thank you very much. This is what I am searching for.

  • Joseph Othniel says:

    It’s awesome

  • Aldo says:

    MDBadmin, thank you for the address to the Million Dollar Blog, and the article you wrote there. You would definitely make a good Mentor.

    If you are interested in being one, please go to this site and click on Become a Mentor near the bottom of the page.

  • Alfred says:

    I find this article as well as the responses to be very positive! As far as I can see, they also agree with what we find in the Bible. That person may need all the help we are able to give, in order to make a change or solve the problem. May the Good Lord help us to be a friend and to make this world a better place to live!

  • Charity Wambugu says:

    good one to keep an do

  • stacey says:

    thank you. this was extremely helpful.

  • Iyanth says:

    I also want to thank you for this great post.It’s a wonderful reminder on how to give critical reviews on job performance rather than the person. I’m going to keep a copy of this at my desk!

  • amista says:

    thanks for this informations

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