Internationally renowned psychologist, author and behavioural science journalist, David Goleman, is a leading figure in the area of Emotional Intelligence (EI). He writes regularly for the Harvard Business Review (HBR).
Read Goleman’s article: When You Criticize Someone, You Make It Harder for that Person to Change (Harvard Business Review, December 2013). Goleman explains that the most important thing about criticism is that it makes it harder for that person to change. “When we’re told about things that we’re doing wrong, Goleman says, it “shuts us down, puts us on the defensive, and narrows our possibilities to rescue operations.”
Even when praise follows criticism, or there is some moderating or softening of the criticism, we do not hear those words moderating or softening words. Instead we feel attacked and put up all our defenses, closing our minds to the intent of the words.
How to criticise effectively. In a 1 minute 30 seconds video Daniel Goleman gives invaluable advise on how to criticise an employee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9F2WKvPysM