Category: Employment Law

Using the words “you bleeping &#+%” (insert your favorite expletives) is never the best way to motivate your employees. And yet sometimes we still want to say it. How can we encourage our employees to do their best work without losing our cool? If you hope to instill change and growth in your employees consider these six steps when giving criticism:

1. Can the issue or behavior be changed? If it cannot be fixed in the future, do not take the next step. Be silent. Never criticize what cannot be changed!

2. Choose a proper time and place to discuss an issue with an employee. No one likes to be criticized in front of others. Also, check your mood; make sure you are in a positive frame of mind before providing feedback to an employee.

3. Reassure. Begin with praise whenever possible.

4. Be specific. If you cannot be specific, do not criticize. If you do not understand the particular nuances of your issue, how do you expect your employee to understand?

5. Express confidence. You are criticizing something that you have already determined can be corrected. Help your employee understand that he or she can, in fact, correct his or her work. Make the change appear easy to achieve.

6. Praise improvement. If you have taken the time to criticize, take the time to praise.

Remember, you can only control the message you are sending. Because of that, you need to make sure the person you are delivering the criticism to knows how to accept it in an appropriate way. My next installment will focus on the “Four Steps to Taking Criticism.” If you want to reach out and chat, you can contact me at

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