No matter where you work in Singapore, you’ll never see a person who likes being criticized. The thing is though, feedback and criticism are important for growth whether it be professional or personal. That’s why it is important to come up with ways to give healthy and constructive criticism. Let’s just straight into it!
Do it privately
There’s really no exception to the statement that nobody likes to be criticized in public. When a person feels embarrassed or humiliated, it will be quite hard for him/her to simply take it as just a simple mistake to correct. Of course, that’s not what you want if you’re aiming to provide healthy criticism. Find time to talk to the other person in private. Your criticism will have more value that way.
Use the Feedback Sandwich
The feedback sandwich is basically positive-negative-positive. First, you start off by saying the admirable things that the other person has done. Then, you go and provide the criticism; what’s wrong, what mistakes the other person is making, and how to improve. Lastly, round it out by reemphasizing the positives you mentioned earlier as well as the positives you expect after providing the criticism.
Avoid being vague
Giving vague feedback will only end up confusing the other person as to what he/she did wrong. You’ll make it much easier for yourself and the other person by simply being specific. When you’re being specific, you can immediately give the other person actionable feedback. “Make an outline focusing on the sales for this project” is better than “make a presentation for this business plan”.
Don’t make it personal
Let’s say you have a certain co-worker who you don’t exactly see eye to eye with. If he makes a mistake, try your best to avoid giving criticism that’s too personal. When giving feedback, target the situation itself and not the person. It will be hard to resist the temptation especially if you hate the other person. But that will only lead to more problems in the future. We’re not aiming for toxic workplace culture here!
Though it’s good that the other person gets your feedback, it would be much more helpful if you can give him recommendations as well. Offer some advice on what he can improve or what he can specifically do to get the right things done. There are still chances wherein he’ll just hear out your feedback and not do anything about it. Giving recommendations allows the other person to take action himself.
Just be kind
It’s pretty obvious that you won’t be able to provide healthy criticism if you’re being hostile towards the other person. People already have a hard-enough time accepting even light criticism. If you come at them harshly, they’ll only beat themselves up even more. So try to always maintain a positive and respectful tone.