Five Ways To Critique Without Crushing

Offering feedback that could be perceived as critical is something many leaders struggle with

A critique should not be a monologue but a dialogue. Work with the person to discuss action items and next steps. Without action steps, the team member leaves your office crushed with uncertainty about what is next. Actions steps provide a sense of closure to the issue and a path forward.

 

As a leader, you owe it to those you lead to offer them feedback. Without feedback, development is hampered, as people don’t know what actions to repeat and what actions to tweak. Giving encouragement and accolades is not something leaders dread, but offering feedback that could be perceived as critical is something many leaders struggle with. Yet wise and loving leaders critique because they love those on their teams and long to help them develop.

The goal of a leader’s critique must be to equip and prepare, not crush and demoralize. A leader who critiques haphazardly is likely to harm team members and not help them. Here are five ways to critique without crushing those you lead:

Check your own motivations.

Before you have a feedback conversation, check your own motivations. Do you want to prove that you are right, that you are smarter? Or do you really want to help the person? Do you want to unload on someone or do you want to develop a person on your team? If you want to blow someone up, just know that you are really offering critique for your sake and not those you lead.

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