Criticisms are voiced as personal attacks rather than complaints that can be acted upon; there are as hominem charges with dollops of disgust, sarcasm, and contempt; both give rise to defensiveness and dodging of responsibility and, finally, to stonewalling or the embittered passive resistance that comes from feeling unfairly treated.
Many managers are too wiling to criticize, but frugal with praise, leaving their employees feeling that they only hear about how they’re doing when they make a mistake.
This propensity to criticism is compounded by managers (Husband, Wife, Teacher…etc) who delay giving any feedback at all for long periods.
“Most problems in an employee’s performance are not sudden; they develop slowly over time,” J. R. Larson, a university of Illinois at Urbana psychologist, notes.
“When the boss (Husband, Wife, Supervisor, Mother…etc) fails to let his feelings be known promptly, it leads to his frustration building up slowly. Then, one day, he blows up about it. If the criticism had been given earlier on, the employee would have been able to correct the problem.
Too often people criticize only when things boil over, When they get too angry to contain themselves. and that’s when they give the criticism in the worst way, in a tone of biting sarcasm, calling to mind a long list of grievances they had kept to themselves, or marking threats. Such attacks backfire. They are received as an affront, so the recipient becomes angry in return. It’s the worst way to motivate someone.”