The Best Handful of Tips 35 – Criticise Constructively

The Best Handful of tips 35 – Criticise Constructively

There will be times when you need to criticise or reprimand people, especially if they are not performing well or are upsetting colleagues. It’s an unpleasant task and needs to be handled tactfully.

Nobody likes to be told they are wrong or need correcting. There are ways you can use so as not to upset them too much.

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

  1. Don’t rush to criticise

Before you take action a good rule is to “sleep on the problem” first. Never criticise when you are angry.

Smile and watch the tone of your voice when you are criticising. Never be sarcastic with your comments. 

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

If you have already built a good rapport and earned the respect of your workers, it makes the task much easier. Use ‘I’ and ‘we’ to stress you want to work the problem out and find a solution together.

  1. Sugar coat the pill 

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

Sandwich your criticism between positive recognition of their ability and talents. 

  1. Make your criticism specific

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

Criticise the work, not the person.

Make your criticism short and sweet, not a lecture. Don’t belabour the point 

Make clear your expectations.

  1. 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. 

Offer to help the person correct the problem and offer incentives for changed behaviour.

  1. Say something good

 State you have confidence in the person and  reaffirm your support and confidence in them.  Comment on their strengths and attitudes. 

Always finish on a friendly note. “Praise, criticise and praise again” is a simple rule to follow.

Geoffrey Moss  (www.

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

Source: “Secrets for New Managers” first published by Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand from articles written for “Today’s Manager”, the official bi-monthly publication of the Singapore Institute of Management.  Also published by Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. Available also as hard copy and an e-book from Cengage Learning Asia, and the VitalSource Bookshelf.

Secrets for New Managers Cover





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s