The ability to give and receive criticism is an art that few have mastered. If you can, you will have a leg up on managing your employees.
A line from BusinessWeek.com points out some ground rules to go over before you criticize someone.
When you want to criticize someone:
1. Begin by finding something you like or appreciate about the person you’re about to criticize. This is not only fair, but will also make the person more likely to be receptive to what you have to say.
2. Focus on what that person has said or done, not on him or her personally. Only the former is relevant and likely to be acknowledged.
3. Conclude by affirming your faith that the other person will consider what you have to say. This is both a respectful way to wrap up the criticism and the best way to ensure that your remarks will be given their due.
Living by these rules, before you attack someone, will make you a more respected manager/co-worker with everyone involved in the situation. Also, it will allow more communication to pass through one another. Next time you have a beef to pick with someone…remember the rules.