Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”
Frank A. Clark
Being an employer in Pakistan can get a little scary at times particularly when you have to criticize a colleague or sub ordination not to get too hard on them as well. Learning to criticize others in positive way is very important to get your message through in appropriate manner. Consider these steps to criticize in positive way.
- If you are reaching someone with sprinkles of criticism, make sure it’s at appropriate place at appropriate time. For instance during my teaching jobs in Lahore, I had a chance to witness a debacle between a teacher and coordinator as the coordinator comes up with criticism note in front of an entire class, a very bad timing I must say. Make sure that they are in best of their attitude to understand blame and can open themselves for suggestion.
- Stay cool during the whole process: don’t stretch it too far and stick to the point. No discussion whatsoever should be extend to a point of no return. Stay composed and discuss matters with a cool head.
- While criticizing don’t push the point on as how bad something is done, instead insist on how it can look better. Take a positive turn to criticism to make it a less sour as possible.
- Mind your tone: this is very important to keep your tone measured while pointing out other’s mistakes. If you are sounding offensive, it take the listeners in defensive mode and call for actions to amend the mistakes will fizzle out.
- Don’t confine yourself to criticism, move towards constructive propositions. Such a movement by you shows your interest in the career development of the colleague and that you are willing to invest your time in suggesting good moves to counter the damage.
- While critiquing their bad patch, don’t overlook the spaces where they have shone. Appreciate their successes and encourage them to work harder to excel on those bad patches where they are left behind.
Include a compliment when critiquing your coworker efforts. Tell him what you like about what he did. Even if the work is not good, you can still praise him by saying that you can see he put a lot of effort into the project, or that he has the right idea.