Eveline Goodman_Hi there Everyone! As it is spring… We can all be probably easier about the headline topic I selected. The days are a longer, when we go home we can still see the tip of our noses! I hope you took time and did use the chance of doing the level check test link that I mentioned last time.

It is worth it! Anyways, back to what we wanted to talk about today: No one likes being criticised, but it needn’t be an embarrassing or hurtful experience. If you need to criticise someone, there are some basic ground rules to ensure that your criticism does not go below the belt.

1)   Wait for the appropriate moment.

Make sure that the person can give you his or her undivided attention and that there is no one else present to hear the criticism. Also, make sure you are not emotional or angry.

If you have a minute, could you come into my office, please?

I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes this afternoon. When would be a good time for you?

2)   Try not to be exclusively negative.

Criticism is usually easier to take when it is “sandwiched” between two positive statements. If that is not possible, at least try to start on a positive note. Use “I” language whenever you can.

“I am very happy with the work you have done on the Dermot Project. The customers are happy, and we are right on the schedule. I just wanted to talk to you about the last report you sent out to the project co-ordinator, which contained a number of unfortunate technical errors and typos.”

“I realise that you have been working very hard and appreciate that very much. It is just that I am getting the feeling you aren’t paying as much attention to detail as I am used to from you.”

3)   Focus on the problem, not the person.

Attacking someone personally is counterproductive. Bring up the specific problem, and avoid saying “always” and “never”.

“It’s really important for everyone to keep to the deadlines, and I am concerned that your report is now four days behind schedule. In the future, I would like you to tell me in advance if you are going to be held up.”

“Andy called me this morning about a meeting you had with him yesterday. It seems he had the impression you were unprepared. We really can not afford to get that sort of image in the industry.”

4)   Give encouragement at the end.

The meeting should end on a positive note wherever possible. Use words like “confident”, “sure” or “satisfied” to signal your faith in the employee.

“These sort of things often happen at the beginning of a project this size. On the whole, I want you to know that I am very satisfied with your team.”

“I am confident that this was a simple oversight, and as far as I am concerned, the matter is dropped.”

If you pass the LCT – Level Check Test with more than 50 %, you can book some Integrated training by EforP.

So that your soft-skills can be improved in English.

Until then, I wish you a great time… enjoy the sunshine!


Text: Eveline Goodman.

„Eveline Goodman ist Geschäftsführerin von EforP – English for Professionals, einem Sprachinstitut, das sich auf maßgeschneiderte Trainings – auf „Integrated Trainings“ sowie auf Sprachtrainings – für Unternehmer und deren Mitarbeiter spezialisiert hat.

Should you have any questions until then, just contact us:


Online test for medical professionals: http://lct.eforp-group.com/lct-gw.php

Or simply call us to get an appointment in person or per skype: 030 351 33 792.


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