Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Deliver Criticism That Gets Results

Deliver criticism that gets results

It can be tough, but at some point, you will have to offer someone constructive criticism. I say constructive criticism because the other versions are easy. It can be simple to lose your temper and beat someone up verbally when you feel irritated or frustrated. It’s much more difficult to use it as a teachable moment, to inspire someone to get better. However, it’s exactly this latter approach that will have the biggest positive benefit for your team and your organization.

The foundation for this approach is in the bone-deep understanding that you are not just correcting behavior, you are helping a person grow and become a better version of themselves. Remember, you hired them for a reason. Don’t allow a mistake to obscure that.

Realize that negative feedback is a necessary part of any person’s growth, personally or professionally. No one really appreciates it, but if we never hear ways in which we can be better, we will go on thinking everything is okay when it’s really not.

When the time comes to discuss the issue, keep the focus of the criticism on the work, not the person. The procedure and the results were flawed, the decision was incorrect. Don’t make the person themselves “wrong.” Keep the negative focus on the process and how it can be corrected.
Be sure to remind the person you’re speaking with why you took the time to speak to them about the issue. You believe they can do better, you believe they can meet or exceed the standard, and your goal is to help them accomplish this.

Deliver criticism that gets results by David Milberg

Some people love the sandwich method. They are committed to saying something “nice” on either end of the negative. Some people appreciate and need this. For others, it feels forced, fake and frustrating. They know what’s coming, and they just want to get it over with. Get to know your people and determine which approach will work best for each person.

Finally, once you have offered the constructive criticism, and the person put it into action. Look for positive results to celebrate with them. Allow the initial pain of a corrective conversation to open up the opportunity to share the joy of a successful improvement. Never miss an opportunity to congratulate someone for any improvement or achievement.

When you take the time and put in the effort to criticize with the intention of inspiring, you can create some very special opportunities. What are some ways you can work toward being a more positive and inspiring corrective force on your team?

David Milberg is a financial analyst in NYC. He is a long-time owner of Milberg Factors, a factoring and finance company with locations in New York, California, and North Carolina.

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