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Dealing with criticism can be tricky. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end you’ll need to choose your words carefully. What you say, and how you say it, can mean the difference between improved performance and bitter resentment.
While giving criticism is probably not high on your list of favorites, there are times when you’ll need to give someone on your staff a nudge in the right direction. One of the keys to getting the results you want is to make your remarks more palatable.
How can you make criticism easier to digest? First, begin with something positive. Often the reverse happens. After going though a laundry list of complains, we tack a compliment on at the end. Almost as an afterthought.
Next time, make a conscious effort to switch the order. Before you discuss the person’s faults try mentioning something positive. For example, maybe the report wasn’t as in-depth as you expected. Focus on the good points. Was it well organized? Was it turned in on time? If you continually find yourself searching for something positive to say you may have another problem to deal with.
Whether you’re at home or the office, try these techniques the next time you need to dole out some disapproval:
When you find yourself on the receiving end:
While it’s not something we look forward to, giving and getting criticism is a part of life. Avoid developing a reputation as the bearer of bad news by never passing up the opportunity to bestow a compliment. For the best results keep it SSIP: Simple, Sincere, Immediate and Personal. You may find that increasing the amount of positive feedback reduces the need for criticism.
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