How to Criticise

Criticism is sometimes necessary, although no one enjoys being criticized. Criticism can be destructive as well as constructive. The effective leader must understand the difference between the two, and the impact that each can make. This article gives you some tips for when criticizing someone is necessary.


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    Build rapport with the people that work for you. This is usually done by earning respect and having an understanding of whom is the boss. People must always know what is expected of them, including what they can and can't do.
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    Instill personal and team empowerment. Allow people to come up with their best ideas, and have unchallenged, equal input. This is not a place for criticism.
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    Understand the facets of education. Discipline is a form of teaching. It's came from the word, "Disciple." Criticism is a tool to reinforce discipline.
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    Practice constructive criticism. "Criticism is a sandwich: Positive recognition on one side, discipline, and instruction in the middle, and positive reinforcement on the other." Identify positive behavior, discuss the item, and only the item at hand, and finally reinforce the positive. Talk to people, not down to people, and keep the conversation centered on the action, not the person. Don't be commanding, or that will just put the person on the defensive, and they won't hear you at all.
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    Accompany criticism while addressing one's strengths and unique characteristics. Enhance the individual's unique potential. Suggest new and better ways to apply the person's attributes so the person feels the criticism is a readjustment, not a judgment.
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    Criticize actions, not people.
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    Discuss behavior and action, not character. This way the criticism seems like it's not a personal attack.


  • Criticism is not a witch-hunt. Do not use it as a means to building a hit list.
  • Before criticizing somebody, think how you would like to be treated by the same person if you were in the situation he or she is currently in.
  • Criticism is not a fault-finding mechanism, but a well-developed science which can be used for finding the shortfalls and find means of correcting them
  • Criticism is a known factor, which would help in ones personal growth. A person can take steps correcting it only if there is a deficiency. Criticism helps them to see the deficiency. Perfection is a never-ending process.
  • Criticism is not the same as judgment.
  • Understand the facts. Have a good understanding of what was not done properly, the criticism is needed.


  • Try not to make it as part of your character as you would be tagged as a critic
  • Sometimes, time allotted to rectify and improve would be more effective than simply criticizing, especially in case if the person is a junior or a recruit.
  • Criticism may backfire if someone who is mature, graceful, and diplomatic does not do it by nature, if it is not done in a polite manner with the consent of the person to be criticized.
  • Criticism is to improve oneself and ones life, but not to insult or disgrace someone.

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Categories: Language Nuances