Constructive Criticism

Wed, Dec 10, 2008


Rule of Constructive Criticism

If criticism is given in a constructive manner, employees will be motivated to do a better job.

The wISPR Rule

This rule specifies the importance of performance criticism by stating ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the task, denoted by the letter ‘w’. The acronym has the following meaning:

I for immediate; S for specific; P for problem attack & R for reaffirm

Let’s see the details of each as follows:

Immediate: Choose the right time to offer feedback. The feedback given very soon after the behavior was observed helps relate to the problem better. This also helps eliminate the chances of information distortion that may happen if the feedback is given on the past performance.

Example: : In the monthly sales review, you find that your subordinate has slipped his sales targets again. After the review, request the subordinate for a few minutes of private conversation.

Specific: Be specific about the behavior instead of being generic or abstract. Describe the poor performance and why it was inappropriate.

Example: I noticed you were sleeping in the meeting. This behavior is not desirable as it can discourage others. Imagine how you will feel if the same happens when you are delivering a presentation.

Problem attack: Offer criticism on the problem behavior and not on the person or character. Be tough on performance not the person.

Example: ‘If you do not guide your subordinates, how will they learn?’ instead of ‘you are careless’.

Reaffirm: Express the employees’ strengths. Let the person know that he/she was still valued.

Example: ‘I have seen you inspire others plenty of time.”

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