The Impact of Criticism

How to Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie.

An oldie but a goodie. First published in 1937, yet still remains relevant to the modern world and anyone in a sales or management role. Full of inspiring quotes, real life examples and honest advice on well you guessed it, how to win friends and influence people, but read through a management lense offers plenty of salient advice on people management and inspiring action in the work place. A lot of Carnegie’s key messages have been regurgitated by many modern day management gurus…

The impact of Criticism in the Workplace – Carnegie.

“If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the behive.” 

People rarely critize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong they might be and nothing kills the ambitions of an individual as criticism does from superiors;  criticism wounds pride, hurts sense of importance and arouses resentment, it creates long last damaging results in how an individual perceives their company, the work and their relationships with superiors. Criticism in public is to be avoided at all costs; the importance of ‘saving face’ is more prevalent in Asia where I have seen many a heavy handed expat pay the price with their reputation and job, but ‘face’ is important to us all – no one wants to be publicly shamed, we are all by nature proud. As managers, we do well to keep that in mind and keep our anger and emotions in check when dealing with employees, it does not matter how justified we believe we are in raising the roof.  By the way, contrary to belief, criticism does not lead to better work. People do better work under a spirit of approval and support.

To not criticize your employees does not stop you from dealing effectively with under performance but handle with care and tact, if you want to see genuine improvements. Always take time to understand why an employee might be slipping in performance, ask questions, agree action orientated approaches to improvement, and provide the support necessary for improvement. If the employee has just cocked up, well, haven’t we all.