Skip to main content

How to Offer Constructive Criticism

Pick your words and prepare your manner carefully if you really want to help with advice and criticism.


  • Step 1: Reflect and prepare Reflect on what you want to say to the person and prepare a clear message. Be honest with yourself regarding any ill will you might harbor.
  • Step 2: Maintain respect Maintain unconditional respect for the person. Everyone, including you, is doing the best they can.
  • Step 3: Know the situation Document and praise the other’s efforts, intentions, and accomplishments. Before raising reservations about their performance, be complimentary.
  • TIP: Try to conduct the conversation privately, away from prying eyes.
  • Step 4: Listen closely Ask questions and invite them to explain their view of things. This could change the criticisms you offer.
  • Step 5: Consider their power to absorb State your case, taking into account their compromised power to absorb information in such a tense circumstance.
  • Step 6: Criticize the behavior Criticize the behavior, not the person. Accept criticism as well, knowing that mistakes are normal for everyone.
  • TIP: Follow the Golden Rule of treating others as you would be treated in all your dealings with others.
  • Step 7: Expect realistic results Expect no more from others than you would from yourself. Craft achievable goals with their participation so you’re both on the same page.
  • Step 8: Reinforce the message Reinforce the message to get agreement on what both parties understood, and what the plan for correction will be.
  • FACT: Universities now offer over 100 degree programs in conflict resolution.

You Will Need

  • A plan of attack
  • Respect for others
  • Knowledge of the issue
  • Listening skills
  • Humility

Popular Categories