Best Time of Day for Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism is one of the inevitable evils in the workplace: no one likes to give it and of course no one enjoys receiving it, and yet it is an important component of growth in our careers and in life. Besides tenderness and respect for each other when we give this, there is another important consideration that needs to be made in order to be received as best as possible: timeliness.

According to Quartz, a 2016 study by researchers at the University of Toronto shows that the time we give feedback has a significant impact on how the person receiving it feels and responds. Therefore, it may be best to give feedback in the morning when a person’s ability to regulate and control themselves (which researchers have associated with accepting negative feedback) is at their peak. “The more we get tired and tired, the less patience we have and the more irascible we can become,” Quartz reports.

This does not mean that you will be waiting for your colleague or co-worker at the door when they come in in the morning, but you can make an appointment early in the day to catch them when they are most receptive.

Also, consider the environment and context in which you are giving feedback: Has the person you are talking to just lost a client, flunked a presentation, or broke up with a significant other? Wait a day or so for more bad news. “If they have a tough meeting or problems at home on a particular day, avoid negative feedback, as their ability to self-regulate and motivation to learn from it is likely to be low,” adds Quartz.

Another way to make constructive criticism more acceptable is to supplement it with one or two positive statements.


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