How To Be Objective In Giving And Receiving Constructive Criticism

One thing I would say life has taught me is you can never be good to everyone. You can never be so great that people will not see faults in you. It is weird but very true, even in business no matter how much you satisfy your customers there will always be some “haters” In the crowd. It is only part of the job for pharmacists to give and receive constructive criticism even if the “haters” don’t aim at making their criticisms constructive. It may be part of an assessment or an appraisal but you are required to communicate with customers and other pharmaceutical professionals.

Let me give you a little back-story, I was at a pharmacy sometime ago to get some products for my hair. I approached the counter to make my payment when I saw the technician at the pharmacy shouting at the customer. He completely lost it when the customer in a bid to make him faster said, “You are too slow, pick up the pace or go look for another job if you are incompetent”. It took two hefty men to separate these people from destroying the sanity of the store. After the dust settled, I thought to myself that the altercation could have been avoided if both parties were objective in giving and receiving constructive criticism – the customer In giving and the technician in receiving with appropriate feedback. The next time I went to the store that technician was no longer there. So how you ask can I give constructive criticism and how can I receive them without malice?

Constructive criticisms are necessary for personal development of the people involved in the communication process as well as the overall growth of the pharmacy. To give constructive criticism you need to provide specific information to the recipient that he or she can use to build his strengths and serve you better. It is not only when you praise or correct a technician but also identity strategies that can help improve the quality of business in the store. Customers should learn therefore how to identify strategies that will improve the technician and the way service or business is operated in that retail store. Also, technicians should practice receiving criticisms and giving an effective feedback.

In giving constructive criticism you have to be precise after all you are trying to communicate an idea to the recipient. Go straight to the point and mean what you say, do no sugar coat but tell it as it is in the most polite manner. However, you must take into consideration the setting in which you are giving the constructive criticism, it should be a private conversation with the recipient. The essence is to facilitate learning by pointing out new and improved method of getting things done in the pharmacy. No technician or pharmacy rep will take any criticism constructively if you do it in front of the whole “world”, do it discreetly and pass the message appropriately.

You have to bear in mind that constructive criticism is not about attacking the recipient like the customer in the story but being objective in observing certain things. Instead of antagonizing the technician, the customer could have used the pronoun “I” instead of you. He could have rephrased his statement by identifying what needs to be done to improve speed. This could have been more appropriate in that situation, “I think it will be easier to attend to one customer than trying to satisfy everyone at once, so filling prescriptions will be easier”.

However the case may be you should be sensitive in the way you deliver constructive criticism because you are not trying to hurt the recipient but to improve the workflow and the overall image of the business.

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