How to criticize your workers

Twice last week I brought to the discussion as to how to criticize employees, or, more precisely, their actions. The reason for the discussion was my disagreement with the “classical” or perhaps “conventional” approach to criticism in the so-called “Manager interaction”.

That’s what is correct:

  1. You can’t criticize the person, only his actions.
  2. The process of “critical communications” need to build on the principle of a hamburger. Be the first to say, “as we have all the cool” (the bun), then criticize (cutlet), then rospoli that actually all this stuff, because it will be even cooler (another bun). I exaggerate a little, of course, but the principle is exactly the same.
  3. Praise is necessary for the people to criticize and always alone.

… And more in the same style. Let’s reason together. “You can’t criticize the person, only his actions”.

The proponents of this theory believe that if the supervisor will evaluate the actions of the subordinate and not his personality, the latter will not be offended. Sorry, but this is nonsense the gray bull. Any person, when you criticize his actions, will immediately take these words to yourself! Claim – any! The men, in fact, not stupid, and the analysis process of fact, including the words of the chief, goes on constantly, consciously or not. Therefore, there is no fundamental difference as you submit information, harm will be done.

By the way, this phenomenon is the General attitude to criticism, has a certain psychological component linked to feelings of guilt. Our personality has a certain protective barriers that guard our mental health. One of these barriers that has roots in the instinct of self-preservation, is: “I’m not.”

It is the property of any person, inherent in the genetic code. Any hints (and the criticism is just such a hint) that you are guilty, will face stiff resistance. Because guilt destroys a person. Just like that.

The second rule is a rule sandwiches. The same pure nonsense. Check for yourself. Agree with one of your employees to after your meeting one-on-one and criticism of another employee, immediately after leaving the office the first asked the second: “what did you say chief?” I bet on the bottle of beer, which would sandwich the adulation you not shots, the answer for your doors is this: “I Got a scolding already on the …” (well, you get the idea).

Remember not the last word, and that was the most striking. But the most vivid word is a word about you. And negative always brighter positive, unfortunately. Watch for them, and you will see.

So, what to do? It is possible to provide to the employee a “negative” feedback without the deterioration of relations and mental condition?

Here are my own rules that, you may be useful, and may seem inefficient.

Before starting communication, take the following:

Every person has a right to be wrong. People learn mostly by experience. Negative experience is much more talented teacher than positive.

In the communication process:

Don’t criticize at all. It is very difficult. But criticism is dysfunctional.

  • Install the objective standard of a perfectly completed work. Better in numbers – they are harder to misinterpret and to question. (Before work, not after).
  • Communicate with questions, not statements.
  • Main question: “why do you think?”.

Next question: “what do you think, and what WE HAVE failed?”

Next question: “How do you think that we can do about it? Next time? Right now?”

  • Discuss the process and not just the result. (And before work and after).
  • Don’t punish without extreme need.
  • Fix writing experience. Help people to avoid the most painful mistakes that scattered on the road.
  • Don’t forget about motivation. Motivated people in otherwise identical circumstances will make far fewer mistakes than demotivated.

Those are the rules. Try it and tell about the result. I hope will be useful to you in this difficult matter like communicating with people.

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