October 3, 2017
Some executives use the term constructive criticism in place of the word feedback, but the reality is that criticism is criticism. By its nature, it is not constructive.
Consider, for example, a manager who tells an employee, “You are never on time. This is really irresponsible. Unless you get your act together, you’ll be gone from here.” This comment is certainly not productive. In fact, it would put cracks in the foundations of the team the manager is building.
Employees receiving such criticism are not motivated to support the goals and efforts of the person delivering it.
How do the two differ? Here are several ways:
Perfecting feedback skills is comparable to perfecting coaching skills. So if you want to improve the quality of your feedback, take these simple steps:
Watch your timing. Whether your feedback is positive or negative, deliver it as close to the incident as possible.
Be specific. Discuss not only the behavior in question, but also the impact it has on work output and co-workers’ performance.
Look for the positive. Identify opportunities to offer positive feedback to employees as well.