Communication Skills

How To Criticize

People skills

1. The best advice on how to criticize is perhaps the 'praise sandwich':

Give any criticism, but start and end with a praise. 'Hey, you got a great aim, John Connor. But you sometimes waste a lot of bullets. Having said that, I don't know where we would be without your contribution.'


2. No one likes to hear her/him being criticized:

A study poll found that almost 95% of humans rank themselves in the top 50% of humanity on most criteria (the common traits and skills: honesty, kindness, hard work, parenting skills, work competency, ability to drive a car etc.)


3. The second best advice (some believe it is the best one) on how to criticize is to not criticize, unless you think the criticism will actually help them succeed more.

As an elder said, 'If you can't say anything positive, shut up.'


4. Always criticize at the right place, at the right time and with the right intention:

In other words, always be contextual. 'Why should I listen you?', they will ask. You must be in a position to explain to them that your criticism/advice will help them get over the problem they are facing easily, get the idea, right?


You have to let them know you are there to help, not to indulge in some moment of private mirth.


5. Use the 'SPIN' formula of criticism:

- Situation (explain the facts, the mess they are in, for example)

- Personal impact (how the situation made you feel)

- Inquire (ask questions to help find a way ahead

- Just listen to their answers here, how they got to that point- after their explanation is over, ask them what they would like to happen next, and get suggestions and useful pointers)

- Next steps (explaining in detail the series of steps that will take them forward.)


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