Another Handful of Tips 46 – Criticise Constructively


Another Handful of Tips 46 –
           Criticise Constructively

The five best tips on how to criticise people without embarrassing or humiliating them

Section leaders and managers will be required to criticise workers from time to time, especially if they are not performing well or are upsetting other colleagues. It is an unpleasant task and needs to be handled tactfully.

1. Don’t rush to criticise

Before you take action a good rule is to “sleep on the problem” first.

Keep your criticism private. Never criticise in front of others.

If you have already built a rapport and earned the respect of your workers, it makes the task much easier.

2. Be specific about the problem

State the facts clearly. Make sure the worker understands your concerns.

Criticise the work, not the person.

Make your criticism short and sweet, not a lecture.

Make clear your expectations.

3. Be positive

Discuss the problem fully and try to work out the solution together.

Make constructive suggestions and assure the person they will have your full support.

State what action you would like and your expectations of their attitude and improvements.

4. Sugar coat the pill

Start by saying something good about the person’s work.

Sandwich your criticism between positive recognition of their talents.
“Praise, criticise and praise again” is a good rule.

5. Reconfirm your support

State you have confidence in the person. Reaffirm your support and comment on their strengths and attitudes.

Always finish on a friendly note.

Geoffrey Moss  (www.

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a person’s growth.”

Source: “Secrets for New Managers” published by Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand and by Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. Also available as an e-book from Cengage Learning Asia, and VitalSource Bookshelf.


Secrets for New Managers (Asia and Amazon) Cover Secrets for New Managers Cover


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