There is a tradition on how to best provide constructive criticism (aka the “sandwich” method).
1st – Compliment
2nd – Criticize
3rd – Compliment
The intention is good, it’s the process that needs updating.
Now more than ever, simplicity and directness are key.
Use the following approach instead to reframe criticism and give valuable feedback. It will clear confusion, enroll the person, and give meaningful direction.
1st – Ask if they are open to feedback
2nd – Provide your open, honest, and direct feedback
3rd – Follow step two by providing solutions and securing agreement.
For example, take someone who is doing great work yet struggles with deadlines. Ask if they are open for feedback and tell them of your awareness around their deadline issue.
Provide a solution, have them send you an update three days before the deadline. Then you can support them if they are struggling with or concerned about meeting the deadline.