We always are told that “honesty is the best policy,” and yet when it comes to the business world, we so often try to shy away from the truth in hopes of preserving our relationships with our colleagues and employees. However, there is a lot of reason to believe that constructive criticism can actually strengthen your work relationships if you handle it in the right way.
There are numerous options to offer criticism that you’ll encounter on an almost daily basis. You may need to give a performance review of an employee, or you could be discussing the details of a business strategy that you and your colleagues have been working on that you feel has a couple potential flaws.
It’s understandable to think that people might overreact if you don’t always tell them how great they are, but the truth is that people want to know the truth, no matter how initially difficult it might be. Honest and direct feedback is not only rejuvenating for both parties, but it also provides a lot more room for growth.
This isn’t to say that you should be tactless in the way that you truthfully deliver your criticism. Here are some guidelines that can help you to determine whether you are offering your criticism in an effective, constructive way:
1. Your criticisms are coming from a place of objectivity. Subjective criticism can lead to hurt feelings, or a “that’s your opinion” response.
2. You are giving feedback that is clear and easily understandable so that you are not sending a confusing message.
3. You are speaking respectfully and in a way that will ensure that the person to whom you are speaking will pay attention and take what you say seriously.
4. You have an action plan in place that will help you to move forward from the problem once you have brought it up with your colleague.
5. You have a way to track your progress after the conversation to ensure that you are meeting the tenets of that action plan.
6. You leave the door open for future conversations and communication.
7. You end the conversation on a note of encouragement and affirmation.
If you follow those steps when dealing with criticism in the workplace, you’ll find that you will create a much more open office space in terms of your communication channels, and you will build trust with your coworkers and employees.
Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC
by Christine Kelly
CEO and Queen Bee | Viral Solutions LLC