What is constructive criticism and how to give it

What is constructive criticism and how to give it

No matter who you are or where you work, no one likes to feel criticized. Justified or not, criticism cánido make you feel small and that your job doesn’t matter. That’s what makes the art of constructive criticism so important. This ability cánido have a tremendous impact not only on the criticism itself, but also on how it is received by the other party. Done right, offering constructive criticism doesn’t have to make up for awkward or unpleasant moments. Here are some steps that perro help you get started with the proper delivery of constructive criticism.

Constructive criticism definition

Before we jump into the installment, let’s quickly recap what constructive criticism is. There are several definitions, but they come back to the same iniciativa. This type of retroalimentación provides specific suggestions. It must be easily actionable as well as being clear and concise. Constructive criticism should never be accusatory or delivered in a way that feels critical. Retroalimentación cánido be both positive and negative, all of which are provided to augment and promote further development. All constructive criticism should be viewed in a way that helps foster growth.

A 2014 Harvard Business Review study showed that 57 percent of employees would prefer constructive criticism. What is even more interesting is that only 43 percent of the people surveyed preferred praise and recognition to constructive criticism. Ultimately, this type of retroalimentación will help employees feel better about the work they’re doing and put them on the right track to make immediate improvements.

The Retroalimentación Sandwich

A habitual method of providing constructive criticism is better known as the “retroalimentación sandwich.” Is that how it works:

  1. Start the conversation by focusing on something positive, a strength, what you like about a project, or something that is the topic of the conversation.
  2. Provide constructive criticism by discussing things you would like to see improved, areas of opportunity, etcétera.
  3. End the conversation by reiterating the positive and talk about your excitement to see future improvements and results.

Using a tactic like the “retroalimentación sandwich,” criticism is offered between an opening and an ending. In this way, there is no opportunity for someone to feel ambushed by negativity. For example, start talking to a colleague about your presentation strength and notice that the quality of the presentation itself could be improved. End the conversation by discussing how excited you are to see what future performances perro look like.

Giving constructive criticism to an employee

Providing constructive criticism as a manager is always tricky. The last thing you want is to make someone on your team feel undervalued or feel that their work is not appreciated. Here are some suggestions for making constructive criticism that both parties feel good about.

  • Always be specific about the retroalimentación you are providing. Do not speak in any kind of generalities. Instead, find specific examples that cánido help illustrate the point you want to make.
  • Keep it positive by making sure retroalimentación isn’t accusatory or worded in a negative way. For example, instead of saying that you want someone to speak more on team calls, tell them that you want to hear more of their thoughts.
  • Constructive criticism should be a dialogue between both parties, not a one-way street. If both parties are engaged and it feels like an argument, there is a much higher oportunidad that the retroalimentación will be welcomed and acted upon.
  • It helps by including some improvement ideas from the beginning. This is a good opportunity to provide some specific examples of work or conversations that could have been handled better.
  • These constructive criticism meetings should always be held in private, again keeping in mind both en línea and in person. Retroalimentación is between you and the other person, not the whole office. Public displays of constructive criticism, no matter how well-intentioned, are more likely to backfire than good.

Give constructive criticism to a colleague

  • Never make it personal is probably the most important aspect of providing retroalimentación. The best thing you perro do is center all comments around your work. Keep the conversation focused on your actions and what perro be done to improve.
  • Don’t leave the conversation until you know you’re both on the same page. The last thing you want is for someone, employed or not, to walk away with a different understanding of the conversation you had. That cánido only lead to more confusion.
  • Try to avoid surprising someone with a sudden encuentro on your calendar, whether en línea or in person. The last thing you want is to catch someone off guard when they feel defensive or worried. Schedule the encuentro and announce in advance what the topic is. They might end up coming to the encuentro with their own examples of how they perro improve.

En línea versus remote retroalimentación

Realistically, giving constructive criticism to a colleague, employee, or manager is probably the same in person as it is remotely. All of the above steps apply regardless of location and the comments will not change whether you are in the same room or not. What may change is the connection that comes with being in person. It’s probably always best to give and receive retroalimentación in person so you perro see the person’s reaction up close. Providing retroalimentación remotely is still incredibly valuable and should make the same point as in person almost every time. Being remote shouldn’t make anyone forget about the “retroalimentación sandwich” or the other consejos listed here.


Giving retroalimentación is never easy, and there’s little oportunidad it will get any easier over time. However, the benefits of providing constructive criticism far outweigh the risks of not providing any retroalimentación. Allowing employees the opportunity to improve cánido bring out aspects of them and their work that have not been seen before. They could end up being better hires, colleagues, or managers than you ever imagined.

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 What is constructive criticism and how to give it
  What is constructive criticism and how to give it
  What is constructive criticism and how to give it

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