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5 Tips on Giving Constructive Criticism at Work

Giving and receiving constructive feedback at work is necessary for a business and the employees working there to grow and become more successful. We think we can all agree that there is a right and a wrong way to go about providing your critics, especially if you want to maintain a positive relationship with your co-workers. But if you do it right, it can help everyone involved continually improve. Here are our 5 tips for giving and receiving constructive criticism that will help you and your co-workers win at work.

1. Focus on the Situation, Not the Person
When attempting to form a way to present criticism to someone, it is important to make sure that you comment on the issue rather than the person, using a passive form of expression rather than aggressive. If your feedback sounds more like a personal attack than a critique of their work, take a step back and remind yourself of what the goal of the conversation is. The intention behind the conversation should always be to see improvement from the person, not to cut them down or make them feel bad.

2. Be Specific with the Feedback
In order for someone to learn and understand better, it’s important that you give them specific feedback. No one can learn from constructive criticism if there isn’t specificity in the feedback.  Not only will it help them understand the situation, but you can clearly express your concern and expectations with zero miscommunication. With detailed feedback, steps for action can be taken.

3. Comment on Things that People can Take Action On
Playing off on specific feedback, make sure that you give feedback on things that you know the person can actually do. If you comment on something that the person can’t control, it might make them feel as if you’re setting them up for future failure. What can be helpful during the conversation is to step up an action plan with them to help ensure that they know how to improve the next time. This also makes it clear what your expectations are for the future.

4. Time It Right
It’s not the best idea to immediately dish criticism after receiving poor work from a colleague. In order to keep a strong relationship, it’s best to wait it out and actively think of the conversation with the person. Mutual understanding doesn’t occur when the moment is fresh and glazed with tension. Have a moment alone, think over the situation and ask yourself what points you want to go over to communicate the issue as clearly as possible. Once you have that, then find a time that is best for the both of you to discuss things in private.

5. If You Dish It, Make Sure You Can Take It
No matter what position you hold at your pr company (or any company), even if you’re the boss, it’s important that you are able to receive constructive criticism in a positive way. This means not getting angry and taking it out on the person giving it. If you react in that way, that person and other employees will be sure to never give you feedback ever again. In order for a business to grow and expand, it’s important that everyone feels as if they are able to voice their opinions and maintain an environment where everyone can improve.

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