Criticism of Colleagues


  • Write an internal critical message to another colleague.

As the workplace shifts to a more team-oriented, cross-functional environment, employees are being asked to provide feedback on colleagues on a regular basis. This can be a good thing because personal performance need not rely exclusively on the evaluation of one individual manager. Who better to provide feedback than a fellow teammate that has daily interaction with a colleague?

It does not take long to realize that providing feedback on a coworker could be uncomfortable, especially if there is criticism involved. This would be a situation in which a constructive writing strategy would be useful. Here are some guidelines to ensure that your critical comments are perceived constructively:

  1. Direct your comments at the behavior and not the person.
  2. Keep the tone of your message neutral and objective—think about how you would feel reading the same comments about yourself.
  3. Try to include positive behaviors as well as behavior to be improved.
  4. Suggest positive steps in resolving the issue.

Here are some examples of constructive criticism addressed to a co-worker.

You are doing a great job making the customer happy and compensating with extra hard work when things get a little behind. You could perhaps spend some time providing more training for the team to take some of the extra work off you and improve their skills in the process. You are fun to work with, especially when you share more of yourself with the team.
Your dedication and motivation set a great example for the team. Your intimate knowledge of the technology of the project makes you indispensable. Sometimes when you are asked to help with a problem, you simply create a fix quickly without explaining the solution. It would be very helpful to include the team and explain the issues even if it slows you down a bit.
You are very professional and focused on the work running the project. You maintain a calm attitude even when large problems arise. It would be good if you could pay more attention to the tone of your direction to the team when assigning new tasks.