How to criticize effectively

Criticizing people is something that we all have do it. It can be at work or at home or even with friends. Thing about criticizing people though is that it has to be done carefully because people’s feelings get hurt. I do not think that there is any real way to avoid that as it is just part of human nature to get hurt when we get criticized. The key though is to criticize in a manner that does not leave the other person angry at you. You expect them to feel a bit hurt but you definitely do not want to get them mad at you!

If you can criticize effectively then you will not need to worry about someone getting mad.

A good thing to remember is to always to to bookend your criticism with compliments. That way you will not be thought of as a bringer of negativity.

Also remember what you are criticizing and direct your thoughts to that and not to the person. Remember you are criticizing an action, or inaction, and not the person.

Do not be rude when you are delivering your criticism. If you do so in a condescending or a snarky type of tone then you are going to get nowhere fast. And the person you are talking to is going to get really angry really fast.

Do not be vague. Instead of saying “I don’t like how you have been acting lately” make some specific observation such as “I don’t like how you have been so rude and snippy with your co-workers.” And be even more specific than that if you can!

You do not need an audience. If you have a criticism for one person but are in a group with that person it is best to wait. There is no need to share the criticisms of one person with people that are not directly involved. It will just make that person feel even worse.

Don’t place blame. Choose your words carefully to avoid placing blame. Offer to help if you can.

Don’t rush into criticism. You don’t want it to seem like an attack, so when you feel the overwhelming urge to criticize – wait. Let your thoughts marinate. Then you will avoid an emotional explosion.