The Keys to Constructive Criticism: Part 3

One of the great rules of teaching is to teach only one key idea at a time and give the person a chance to work with that idea until they have internalized it and learned it.

In your management role, when you hire new people, you must realize that they begin at a low level of what is called “task relevant maturity.” This means that they need hands-on direction and instruction. They need close supervision and assistance to learn the job. They need detailed, step-by-step training and instruction for them to get to the first rung on the ladder.

The old idea of “sink or swim” when you hire a new person is now prehistoric. Jobs are simply too complicated. Even answering a telephone and transferring a call requires detailed, hands-on, personalized instruction.

Remember, you can’t ask a person to do a job well if you have not thoroughly trained them in advance. And you definitely cannot criticize a person for making a mistake if you have not taken the time to show them precisely how the job is to be done and then supervise them while they did the job and then given them feedback that helps them to improve and master the job. Only then, are you entitled to give constructive feedback or criticism if the job is not handled properly.

Perhaps the most important part of giving constructive feedback, of training and teaching your staff, friends, children and co-workers to be better in their lives and work is for you to give them continual praise and encouragement. The more you praise and encourage positive constructive behaviors, the more deposits you make to the emotional bank account. The easier it will then be for people to take constructive feedback from you at a later time.

Your job is to become an outstanding manager and the only way you can become an outstanding manager is to build a team of outstanding people. You build a team of outstanding people by creating a high trust environment where people feel terrific about themselves because they feel terrific about their relationship with you.

Destructive criticism that attacks a person’s sense of personal value and self-worth is the most destructive thing that one person can do to another person. Your management role and job is to give people constructive feedback that helps them to do their jobs better. Your job is to assume the very best of intentions on everyone’s part. Your job is to assume that everyone is doing the very best job they possibly can, and if they are not doing a great job, it is for a logical reason.

Whenever you have a situation where the job is not being done to your satisfaction, begin by asking questions and getting the facts, in advance. Don’t ever assume or leap to conclusions about a performance problem. Very often, you will find that what appears to be a person dropping the ball is a new and even better way of doing the job. Take your time and get the facts before you react.

The very best managers are the best thinkers and the very best thinkers are those who take the time to thoroughly think through what is going on before they react and respond. Your goal is to be one of the great managers of your generation and you do that by bringing up some of the great people of your generation. You give people clear instructions, positive expectations, and you create a high trust environment.

When people seem to make mistakes, you take the time to talk to them, find out exactly what happened, and then help them with additional training and teaching to do better next time. If you incorporate these ideas into every aspect of your management role and personal style, your future with people will be unlimited.

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • Mark

    Another great piece from a icon!!!!

  • Jose

    Hello Brian,
    As a manager, I have followed all your advice. As a result, I have become a better person.
    Thanks,
    Jose

  • Ray

    Superb advice – I wish I could email this to my Manager who never understands that critiscising people without proper training and support is bad management and destroys confidence.

  • Ron

    Many managers do not provide praise and a helpful attitude. People feel more worthwhile and are willing to go the extra mile if they are praised.

  • http://AndersJacobsen.com Anders Jacobsen

    Hi Brian,
    I love this series – keep up the good work.
    All the best,
    Anders

  • http://www.Consulting101Book.com Lew Sauder

    Many good points in this article, but the most salient is developing trust. When that is developed, you can pull someone aside and give constructive criticism without them worrying about failure. People need to be taught that failure is good for learning.
    Lew Sauder, Author, Consulting 101: 101 Tips For Success in Consulting

  • Faraz Davani

    True ~~~ “The more you praise and encourage positive constructive behaviors, the more deposits you make to the emotional bank account. The easier it will then be for people to take constructive feedback from you at a later time.”

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