Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain: Criticizing others can lead to resentment and can damage relationships. Instead, focus on praising others and finding ways to help them improve.For example, instead of saying “You’re always late,” try saying “I really value punctuality and it would be helpful if we could work on being on time.”
Give honest and sincere appreciation: People are more receptive to suggestions when they feel appreciated and valued. Make an effort to sincerely thank and praise others for their efforts and contributions. For example, if a coworker goes above and beyond on a project, thank them and express your appreciation for their hard work.
Arouse in the other person an eager want: People are more likely to take action when they feel motivated to do so. Help others see the benefits of taking a particular action and how it will meet their needs and desires. For example, if you want a friend to join you for a hike, explain how it will be a great opportunity to get some exercise and spend time together in a beautiful setting.
Begin with praise and honest appreciation: Starting a conversation with praise and appreciation can set a positive tone and make the other person more receptive to what you have to say. For example, if you need to discuss a problem with a coworker, begin by thanking them for their efforts and expressing your appreciation for their contributions.
Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly: Criticizing others directly can lead to defensiveness and resentment. Instead, focus on the behavior or problem and how it can be improved. For example, instead of saying “You’re always making mistakes,” try saying “I noticed that there have been a few errors in the reports lately. Can we work together to find ways to improve the accuracy of the data?”
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person: Admitting your own mistakes can make it easier for others to hear constructive feedback and can help to build trust. For example, if you need to give feedback to a team member about a mistake they made, start by acknowledging any similar mistakes you have made in the past.
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders: People are more likely to take ownership of a task and be motivated to complete it when they feel like they have a say in the process. Asking for input and ideas can also help to build trust and collaboration. For example, instead of saying “Do this task by the end of the day,” try saying “What do you think would be the most effective way to approach this task? How can I support you in getting it done?”
Let the other person save face: People often feel embarrassed or defensive when confronted with criticism or mistakes. Allowing them to save face and maintain their dignity can help to preserve the relationship and prevent resentment. For example, if a team member makes a mistake, instead of pointing it out in front of others, consider addressing it privately and finding ways to help them improve in the future.
Be a good listener: Active listening involves paying attention to what the other person is saying, asking clarifying questions, and showing understanding. It can help to build rapport and trust and can also help you to better understand the other person’s perspective. For example, if a friend is telling you about a problem they are facing, make an effort to listen actively by making eye contact, asking questions, and showing empathy.