Monthly Archives: May, 2010

How to handle criticism


Remember that old Allman Brothers’ song “Whipping Post,” which vividly described the whipped feeling that is commonly generated by life’s trials? Sadly, the song reminds me of the emotional pain commonly caused by verbal floggings from managers, colleagues and others. Nevertheless, by using self-control, tact and thought, you can minimize the pain, speed your recovery and even glean some helpful advice from professional criticism. Some tips: • Don’t take criticism personally. No matter how tactlessly or viciously criticism is delivered, it’s really about something you may or may not have done — not about who you are or what you’re…

Positive ways to give negative feedback


My May 3 column explained how to give negative feedback and correct otherwise diligent staffers in a humane, respectful way. Some more tips. * Remember your purpose. Your negative feedback should be designed to provide constructive feedback that will help your staffers increase their contributions to your office — not to embarrass or demean or “gotcha” them. * Watch your voice. When you criticize or make suggestions to subordinates, your tone should be as calm, tactful and respectful as when you speak to your superiors. * Don’t pry into personal matters. Don’t relate your staffer’s mistakes to his personal problems…

Deliver negative feedback constructively


A benevolent manager is one who delivers negative feedback and corrections to otherwise dependable staffers in a respectful, gentle style. Treat your staffers with respect, and they will respect you in return, and will therefore be more likely to follow your suggestions without push-back. Some tips on correcting staffers as painlessly and as constructively as possible: • Pick your battles. If the transgression was relatively minor and unlikely to be repeated, consider just forgetting it. • Verify your charges. Check that your staffer had been instructed properly and that his alleged mistake was actually his fault and really did happen…