1. Always lead with questions: How do you think you are doing? It gives the recipient joint ownership of the problem and helps him feel included, not excluded.
2. Never give criticism unless it’s been invited; unsolicited negative feedback only provokes annoyance and will be discounted.
3. Make sure you are seen as having the authority to give corrective feedback. Criticism from those perceived as our peers or unqualified to give it incites resistance and rebellion.
4. Distinguish whether a demand for change reflects your needs or is a valid critique of how someone is doing something. Know when “You’re too demanding” really means “I really wish I felt more accepted”.
5. Never give feedback when you are angry; Anger alienates the listener. Expressing disappointment is much more productive in the long run.
6. Know who you are talking to. Narcissists take any criticism as a personal attack; the insecure lose all self esteem and depressive personalities can sometimes grossly over-react.
7. Know yourself too. If you’re relatively insensitive to criticism, curb the tendency to be heavy handed when delivering it.
8. Expect defensiveness as a first response to criticism; a change in performance may come later.
John Cacioppo Neuroscientist University of Chicago
- extracted from "Jack 7", the Newsletter from Bowls NSW Development Team.