1. Determine if it really matters
What difference will it make?
Is it important to correct him?
If not, don’t do it; it can easily backfire.
2. Criticize in private
Frequently a person will admit his error and take helpful correction without hurt feelings,
but not if it is done in front of an audience.
3. Apologize for him
Make an excuse for him so he can save face.
Let him know that there was a good reason for his doing it the wrong way.
“I’ve seen Eagle Scouts make the same mistake”
“I’ve made the same mistake myself”
“It’s easy to make such a mistake”
“I should have explained that to you”
4. Praise first before criticizing
(i.e. pat him on the back before kicking him in the pants)
“You are usually right about everything but…”
“Good campers like you often make such mistakes”
“You are so good about other things, what happened here?”
5. Focus on the act — not the person
Not “what idiot did this” but what thing was done wrong.
It is a great temptation to point out a person’s faults — don’t succumb.
6. Be specific about the error
Never be vague… point out exactly what is wrong.
7. Point out what should be done to correct the situation
Be specific about what the person can do to better his performance.
8. Follow up
Stop by later to reassure him — by your presence — that you are his friend
Let him know that the incident is closed — by your SILENCE about the matter
Let him have an opportunity to ask questions and show that he is doing it right now
If he is doing the job right, be sure to compliment him
DON’T CORRECT — HELP!