Monday, May 30, 2011

Never criticize anyone in public

Do you remember the last time you were criticized at a meeting with all your colleagues watching the scene? How did you take it? Did you swallow the bitter pill in silence? Or did you shoot back? Whatever was your visible reaction, as an ordinary human being, you would probably have resented it more or less.

Criticizing subordinates in public is a catastrophic mistake some dumb managers do. Not only does it fail to correct whatever is wrong, but it also lowers the morale of the criticized. Further, it`s one of the fool-proof ways to make enemies inside the organization. As the conflicts intensify, the all important concepts of team spirit and co-operation vanish into the thin air. The organization, as a whole, begins to lose in terms of productivity.

So when you notice two of your subordinates engaged forever in a small talk while others are at work, you may be tempted to put your powers and authority on display and give them a good piece of your mind in order to set a good example for others. But, don`t cave in to that temptation! To criticize them in public may be one great way to vent your spleen, but it will (it`s ‘will’ and not ‘may’) cause them to resent your portentous attitude and turn disloyal to you in no time.

So what you should do instead is to summon them-preferably one at a time-into your room and tell them softly how they were supposed to behave inside the office during the work-hours. Don`t just keep telling about their weak points-it`s, of course, ill-advised to point out their other weaknesses on this occasion. Tell them honestly the strong points you appreciate in them. Over-emphasizing their mistakes won`t convince them of their wrongdoing. Deliberate on what you should tell them and how you should tell it. Don`t just succumb your anger. Let them be convinced of their fault.

Remember every one of us-no matter how educated, how cultured and how powerful- is a damned fool at least five minutes a day and that wisdom consists in not exceeding that limit. If we were to record all our follies every day, each of us would have a massive volume of FTD(Fool Things I Do) by the time we reach our sixties, that`s, supposing we see out our fifties.

So make your point clear. But don`t be rude or arrogant. Let them save face. Yes, you should let them save face. That`s precisely why I warn you against faulting anyone in public.

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