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4.2: Constructive Criticism

  • Page ID
    17502
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    Constructive criticism is feedback aimed at collaboratively improving the overall performance of an individual or quality of a service. It often includes suggestions for positive change or improvement.

    Guidelines for giving and taking feedback

    The following are general guidelines on how to give feedback:

    • Relax and take a few deep breaths if you are anxious.
    • Remain respectful and calm at all times. If you are angry or unable to control your emotions, wait until you have calmed down.
    • Remember that feedback is both positive and negative. Make sure the information you convey does not focus only on only one or the other.
    • Provide the feedback in an appropriate location. Negative feedback should be given in private space without interruption.
    • Put your feedback into context, particularly if it is negative. This will help the receiver understand the points you are making.
    • If you notice that the receiver is distressed, slow down, take a short break, or reschedule the discussion if necessary.
    • Allow the receiver the opportunity to answer or ask questions and provide their own input. This will require active listening on the part of the giver.
    • Focus on the issues and not the person.
    • Provide feedback at the appropriate time so that an employee or co-worker can address the issues. Don’t stockpile the feedback or criticism and unload it void of context.
    • Make sure that it is within your purview to provide the feedback.

    The following are general guidelines on how to receive feedback:

    • Relax and take a few deep breaths if you are anxious.
    • Actively listen to what is being said. Ask questions or for clarification if required at the appropriate time.
    • Remain respectful at all times. If you are angry or unable to control your emotions, wait until you are calm to respond or ask questions.
    • Remember that feedback is both positive and negative. Acknowledge the feedback by paraphrasing it and asking for clarification on any points if necessary.
    • Take responsibility for your role. Acknowledge any errors you have made or situations that could have been handled better. Ask for advice on how to handle these situations better in the future.
    • If you disagree with the assessment, be assertive, not aggressive. Clearly address the issues.

    Now complete the Learning Task Self-Test.


    This page titled 4.2: Constructive Criticism is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Camosun College (BC Campus) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.