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Business Etiquette of Professional Criticism

What is Criticism?
Criticism is a two ways communication. It is the core of any business professional relation. Criticism is the best tool for professionals to better any professional performance to get the job done right from the first time and in the shortest ever time.

Criticism is a constructive tool, as it is not there to demonstrate authority, nor prove who is right and who is wrong and not used to blame others. If it is used just to focus on specifics, and to share opinions and cooperate in changing, so it is no more destructive and will turn to be constructive.

Criticism is a two ways communication. One way is to give criticism and the other is to receive criticism. To give criticism is an art and to receive criticism is a game.

The Art of Giving Criticism
When you give criticism you have first to focus on the problem. Do not forget to start with praise. Pause your criticism; in a question form. Do not string more than a criticism at a time. Avoid using “always”, “never”, “worst”, and any generalized negative phrases.

In your criticism do not follow “you” with “not” as this is considered an accusation for the person as being careless or stupid. Do not ever criticize in public. When you do criticizing, provide solutions and offer help. Do not also give any personal criticism. Remember when reprimand is over is over, so do not recall any previous criticism; and when you criticize do not compare.

For your criticism to be objective, set your standards first, as to be able to criticize upon already agreed functions. Do not ever use threatening voice tone, so control your voice volume, criticism when you are calm, do not leave your emotions run free, and use supportive voice tone and pitches.

This is how to give professional criticism and to make sure that you will get the job then done right, in a short time, with less effort and cost.

The Game of Receiving Criticism
Be open to any feed back and welcome the chance for any criticism, as this is a very good opportunity to better your performance, to achieve professionalism.

Do not take criticism personally or take an impulsive reaction to resign for example. Listen applying the 80/20 rule, which is listen 80% and speak only 20%.

Keep a positive body language, when listening to criticism; do not close yourself nor yawn or scow. There are “Four Don’ts” you have to take care of them: “Do not defend”, “Do not compare”, “Do not give reasons”, “Do not blame”; just speak Epso-Facts.

After listening to criticism, try to write down, and summarize to double check, that you understood the criticism.

Then find also any other similar criticism, you had received before. Think of “What steps you have to follow to correct the situation”, “What are the obstacles you might face to solve” and “What are the information needed, to help you solving”. If you asked these previous questions, this means that you put your self in a “Problem Solving Status” and that you are ready to develop and change and that you are not rejecting.

When you are receiving criticism, remember that you do not have to panic but relax and think how much you participated in getting it wrong, and how you can initiate to make it go right. Do not act with criticism as if it is “Thin Air” and then neglect or ignore, please take it serious, as to better your performance and to wear the right professional mask.


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