A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the value of customer criticism. But what when it is you who has to deal some constructive criticism to people working with or under you?
It is often very difficult to voice criticism, because many take any kind of criticism personally or believe that by criticizing them you think you are better than them. People may also have a hard time accepting your opinion because they may think you are criticizing everything they do. After all, they may have worked hard and spent much time on the very thing you are so critically reviewing and therefore even think you do not have any right or basis to do so.
This is why criticism even when voiced with the best intentions often builds up unnecessary frontiers between you and them. These frontiers make it difficult to have a reasonable discussion and solve the problem at hand. So how to criticize someone? (more…)