Productive Criticism Techniques are important when evaluating team member’s performance. On the one side you want to make sure that you are getting work done in the most productive means possible, and on the other there is the need to make sure that you don’t end up offending somebody with harsh criticism. The criticism may be important and vital to advancing the project and propelling the team forward, and for that reason it is a complete necessity to be sure that the review runs as efficient as possible.
To Cater To Emotions Or Not
Most team leaders know that they have to take their team’s emotions into account when providing feedback. When you are doing it through a videoconference the same sort of rules apply as would during an in-person meeting. One of the best ways to approach providing feedback is to put into the demands of your client. For instance, “The way you completed the task was sufficient. When we look at things from our client’s needs we can see that we missed the mark though. This is what our client needs.” By shifting from the perspective of saying “You should’ve done this,” you begin to enter the sphere of communication that reminds your team member of the ultimate end goal: meeting the client’s needs.
Go For A Group Setting
Another important approach to feedback is offering it in a group setting to the group as a whole. When you are addressing the whole team it is easier to dig into the meat of some of what may be truly holding your team back from accomplishing goals. This also opens up a nice discussion platform for members of the team to address concerns that they may be having. Allow them to field you these questions privately through the videoconference so that they don’t have to worry about the way they appear to the group. This open fielding establishes a private means for real-time reactions to help instantly address concerns that are actively influencing the team. This gives you the opportunity to be a stronger leader and build a better team environment.
Watch The Wording
Your wording and your tone really set off a swarm of indicators that can instantly cause your audience to tune out. For instance, when you are telling somebody something about their performance and the dialogue goes as follows, “Jim, your ability to contact new clients and establish better working conditions has been great, but I need you to wear a tie to work now,” you can guarantee Jim has quit listening.
When we hear the word “but” in a sentence most of us automatically forget the first part of the statement, the compliment part. Instead, the brain automatically focuses on the second part and suddenly Jim feels that he has let his boss down and that he doesn’t stand up to company standards. This sort of language can start to breed dissonance among team members. A better tactic is to simply compliment Jim on his work behavior. Leave out the word “but”, and simply let him know that you have professional standards of attire. It is just a small difference in wording and in the end it helps you develop stronger communication skills.
Tone really says a lot, that much sort of goes without saying, along with your body language. Pay attention to these sorts of details and try to speak from a place of compassion about the project you are working. Remember to reward your team members for their hard work by simply showing them basic human respect. It isn’t a difficult thing to do and when we get wrapped up in trying to meet deadlines and raise profit margins, we can easily lose sight of the gel that holds a project together: the people.
Keep Them Online
Sometimes working with a team is a little like herding cattle. People all seem to want to go their own ways, they each have their own private agendas, and can often times seemingly one to defy your every word of advice. When these sorts of individuals enter your team they can be the strongest asset to help you keep things moving forward on a timely manner. There is just that one little problem of keeping your team all inline. When things start to get away from the collective agenda, don’t hesitate to pull everyone together for an online meeting.
Along with being able to be quick and concise, the videoconference lets you address issues in a manner that is clearly more personable than simply sending out a group email. Group emails can sound dry and harsh, especially if you are dishing out some constructive criticism. With the help of your video conferencing setup you can extend a warm smile while helping to build your team.