April 1, 2015
Often it’s the criticism’s tone, not the exact words selected, that provokes an employee.
- Concentrate on establishing a constructive and positive tone. For example, begin with phrases such as, "These skills could enhance your repertoire and make you more effective," and "Here’s how you can improve."
- Don’t demean employees or make them feel that they are incapable of improving.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes when planning your criticism, and think about how you would feel if someone delivered those comments to you.
- Rehearse what you’re going to say before the meeting.
- Make sure the meeting ends on a positive note.
- Always stay calm and in control.
- Always be specific.
- Choose a neutral location.
- Praise in public, criticize in private.
- There’s no need to raise your voice in anger.
- Constantly monitor your tone of voice and body language.
- Allow some cool down time, if possible.
- Respect an individual’s space and don’t physically get in his or her face.
- Walk through the situation so he or she knows what needs to be changed and why.