Thursday, June 11, 2009

Delivering Criticism

In my last post we discussed dispute resolution. Moving on from this, is a short discussion on delivering criticism. Through criticism we give our team members an opportunity to further develop and improve. However the art of delivering criticism is an area where many of us struggle to deliver in the most appropriate manner.

Leaders who resolve incidents require a method to criticise in an ingrained and diplomatic way addressing the problem. This must be delivered so the recipient does not feel that it is antagonistic, insulting, attacking or punitive, because if this is the case we will have failed as leaders to these team members.

How can you know if your criticism is is being effective? Well in the medium to long term you will see this in observing the positive results. Your team members make fewer mistakes and any negative behaviours vanish from their attitude.

Criticising our team members can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is an inevitable result of leading a team to producing great results.

Look to balance the importance of the message, with the importance of delivering the criticism in a way that does not undermine the feedback, but encourages its acceptance and generates motivation to achieve the correction.

Resist rash and impulsive demeaning attacks. Be sure to approach the criticism in a thoughtful and not a reactive manner. This way those observing can see you have considered the options and are not shooting from the hip.

Start with a positive statement, then layer in how things may have been improved, and finish with an affirming statement that blends the good idea moving to a great idea with the adjustments.

Some ideas to consider:
Get the facts straight.
Timing - when should it be delivered.
Don't criticise in public.
Use open-ended questions to establish all the information.
Control the situation.
Don't criticise the person - rather focus on the action.
Don't use You or I to much.
Tackle the main points - don't sweat the small stuff.

A tough subject to get right, but one that done properly will ensure your team continues to develop to the point of excellence and beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment