An example of constructive criticism is: "I noticed that we have had some trouble communicating lately. What can we do to improve this?" An example of unconstructive criticism is: "You haven't been communicating with me lately. What's your problem?"
Constructive criticism is achieved when criticism is given in a way that politely instructs the person being criticized on how to better accomplish the goal or task. Constructive criticism's main goal is to better a person or group, not to tear down confidence or self-esteem.
Constructive criticism is a good thing when done correctly, according to speech communication professor Gregg Walker of Oregon State University. It has to be done with a good attitude, proper intentions and a little bit of tact. Likewise, the person receiving the criticism must be open to feedback and constructive criticism in return.
Constructive criticism, particularly in a workplace context, is best given and received when it isn't too direct or personal, according to Target Training. If the criticism comes across as blame, the person being criticized can get defensive, instead of growing from the advice.
Each situation of constructive criticism must be handled on an individual basis, as every person reacts differently and requires a certain level of sensitivity. Before giving constructive criticism, one should make sure to speak to the person about the issue at hand and use methods that benefit his particular personality.