Constructive criticism

Happy young businesswoman looking partner signing contract

If you have a well-reasoned recommendation that will help someone improve their performance, you can give them constructive criticism. Constructive criticism usually includes positive and negative feedback and is shared in a friendly, supportive manner.

Constructive criticism is often focused on a particular behavior or quality. The goal is to help the person develop and advance.

Although the word “criticism” is negative, the word “constructive” is positive and means “useful and intended to help or improve something.” It is neutral when paired together.

Here are some examples:

  • If your manager gives you constructive criticism about your presentation skills, it would be wise to listen to him. His goal is to help you become a better presenter.
  • According to my HR department, people don’t like receiving negative feedback about their performance. That’s why HR gives them constructive criticism, which identifies what they’re doing well and what they need to work on to get a promotion.

A conversation might look something like this:

A. John, I really appreciate your hard work on our last project. Our client was happy with your quick response time and clear presentation format. In terms of constructive criticism, please add more detail to your meeting reports. They are too brief and often include typos.
B. Thank you for your feedback, I will make those changes going forward.