How to be a productive critique

From ArticleWorld

To be a productive critique it is required that the person at whom it is aimed, benefits and improves from the criticism. Such criticism may be termed as an art, refined and effective when compared to nagging or nitpicking that negates all goods points in a person by harping on the drawbacks. Criticism that is unfair, unsolicited and unskillful is very damaging and can end up doing more harm than no criticism at all. Here are some pointers on how to be critical but fair.

A few suggestions

  1. Be sincere in your criticism. Do it only if you think it important and criticize with the view to helping the other person.
  2. Intersperse your criticism with some praise for the other person. For example you could tell a child that their language is really great and that they only need to make a little improvement to bring up their math level to that of literature.
  3. Make sure that the other person understands your role in being critical. They should be sure that you care enough or are involved enough to care.
  4. Be sure to give criticism soon after the occasion and couch it in terms that appeal to the person on the receiving end. Don’t use words like ‘never’, ‘worst’ and ‘ashamed’.
  5. Interfere only when you think the matter important enough, don’t butt in, in small matters.


  • Give the criticism in private, it will be better received
  • Also try to give the solutions to the problems that you have posed and keep the criticism balanced.


  • Don’t point fingers in asking for improvement. When using statements like, ‘you should’ and ‘I want you to’, remember that you are putting the other person on the defensive. Instead talk of walking together and use the team work approach.
  • Don’t be impatient; remember that productive criticism takes time as well as patience to bear fruit.