How to Criticize People (and Get Away with It)

Last Updated Aug 13, 2007 3:17 PM EDT

Nobody likes to be criticized, and it's usually not a fun experience for the person who's doing it, either. The ever-helpful Lifehack.org has seven suggestions for delivering criticism without the usual bad feelings that go with it. For example:
I have made the same mistake myself. This never fails to improve the situation. Even if it is not true, you can soften your criticism by saying things like "I have made the same mistake myself--" "In your situation I would have done the same thing, but--" The reason this works, is that it avoids us developing an air of superiority. What we are saying is yes, you have made a mistake, but you shouldn't feel bad because others have done so too.
I like (and agree with) all the author's suggestions except one: praise, then criticize. As someone who's been on the receiving end of that approach, I come away feeling like the praise was b.s. What do you think? Have you figured out a foolproof way to deliver bad news? Share it in the Comments!
  • Rick Broida On Twitter»

    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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