Regardless of the industry, leadership needs to have the skills to provide constructive criticism. This is particularly true in construction, where the skilled labor crisis means that many employees are new to the industry. Whether you want to ensure you are good construction leadership or manage a team in another industry, follow these tips to provide constructive criticism.


Establish Trust Before Providing Constructive Criticism

Construction leadership should work to establish trust with subordinates right from the start. Doing so will make providing constructive criticism much easier and more effective. By creating a relationship built on trust, you will find it easier to provide feedback. Additionally, your employees will find it easier to accept and embrace the feedback. Think of it this way: If an employee doesn’t trust you and doesn’t think you have their best interests in mind, they may not take your constructive criticism. Or they may feel it is a personal attack.


Provide Constructive Criticism in Private

Make it a habit to provide criticism in private whenever possible. This will reduce the risk of embarrassment, making it much harder to embrace criticism and change. By contrast, you should provide praise in public.


Find a Balance Between Positives and Negatives With Constructive Criticism

When giving constructive criticism, you want the recipient to know that you have their best interests at heart and that your complaint does not affect your opinion of them. One of the best ways to achieve this is to balance out constructive criticism with positives.

This is as simple as getting in the habit of praising employees for a job well done in addition to providing constructive criticism. Additionally, when providing constructive criticism, you can temper the harshness of it by pointing to aspects in the past the employee did well.


Think About Why You Want to Offer the Constructive Criticism

Before offering constructive criticism, take a few minutes to think about why you want to do so. What concrete actions or changes do you expect as a result of the complaint? This will help you frame it and offer more specifics.


Constructive Criticism Should Be Specific

Your goal with constructive criticism is to provide employees with ways to improve in the future. It is much easier for them to follow through on that improvement if you are as specific as possible with the criticism. You don’t want to make employees guess as to what you mean. There is no guarantee they will correct anything, then.


Stick to the Facts, Not Emotions

Part of being specific with constructive criticism is leaving emotions out of it. Stick to the facts. This will prevent the complaint from feeling like a personal attack.

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