Critique conversations are in the thrid stage of Glasl’s Escalation Model. The model provides a structured approach to conflict resolution and emphasizes the importance of addressing conflicts in their early stages to prevent them from becoming more destructive and challenging to resolve. In a critique conversation, the aim is to provide constructive criticism and find concrete solutions. Critique conversations enable the establishment of a clear agreement with the employee regarding desired future behavior. In contrast to a feedback conversation, a critique conversation is more formal and concludes with a clear agreement. Why not engage in a critique conversation right away when you notice something negative? You can intuitively answer this question easily. It can quickly happen that your conversation partner perceives even constructive criticism as an attack on their person or position. This leads to stress, defensiveness, and a defensive stance. The conversation can then quickly turn into a confrontation, dividing the parties into winners and losers.
Objective of a Critique ConversationThe objective of a critique conversation is to create a win-win situation because ideally, it culminates in an agreement that helps the employee utilize their strengths even more effectively.
Structure of a Critique ConversationThe structure of a critique conversation resembles that of a feedback conversation with two important additions: First, an introduction in the spirit of „supportive feedback,“ and Second, a clear solution agreement at the end. The introduction in the „supportive feedback style“ serves a crucial function. It should clearly convey to the employee that they are not being attacked as a person or employee: „You are a valued employee. You have your place here. We need you, and we need you with all your strengths.“ On this basis, you can then address specific behavior that is less appreciated and should be improved. The conversation then proceeds as in a feedback conversation: