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close this bookHundred Tips for a Better Management (Aga Khan Foundation, 1993, 70 p.)
close this folderCriticising performance
View the document83. Don't be afraid to offend; just don't be offensive in your approach69
View the document84. Take care of mistakes when they are small; do not allow them to grow, they will get more complicated
View the document85. How to handle anger70
View the document86. How to manage conflict71

83. Don't be afraid to offend; just don't be offensive in your approach69

Give a lot, expect a lot, and if you don't get it, prune. Tom Peters, Management Expert

Great emphasis is placed on giving positive feedback. Yet sometimes a manager must discuss poor performance with staff and give negative feedback. When people make mistakes, and it is your job to correct them, remember that people may not always respond well to criticism.

What you can do is to deliver your criticism in a constructive way, that is:

  • Be clear and specific about what you perceive to be the problem.


  • Listen to their point of view. Give them a chance to explain their performance.


  • Don't dwell on a mistake or problem. Keep it and its solution in proportion.


  • Don't attack, blame, or vent your anger. Speak calmly and firmly, and try to address the other person as a well-intentioned, responsible person.


  • Discuss how to resolve the problem and together identify ways to avoid such problems in the future.