If you have been asked to critique your supervisor’s communication skills, chances are that you work for a progressive company. After all, it is usually the supervisor who critiques employees — not the other way around. With the shoe on the proverbial other foot — namely, yours — you can give your supervisor’s bosses valuable insights into your work life — for your benefit and, ideally, for the benefit of your entire organization.
Demonstrate to your boss’s bosses that you have given some thought to this assignment by meticulously preparing your critique in a readable format, with embolded bullet points that represent the main points of your critique. Limit your critique to one page, unless you have been instructed to do otherwise.
Write at the top of the page and centered: “Critique of (supervisor’s name), (supervisor’s title).”
Space twice and then centered again, type: “Critique submitted by (your name), (your title).”
Begin your critique by providing background about your role in the organization. So, in bold face type, write: “My job responsibilities:” Go on to explain your job duties, highlighting any supervisory functions and special projects you are charged with completing. You may as well burnish your image, seeing that your boss’s bosses are reading this critique. Just be sure not to overstate the facts or your status. Be sure to mention how long you have worked under your supervisor’s direction.
Provide context to your critique by explaining the nature, frequency and method of communication with your supervisor. So, in bold face type, write: “Nature, frequency and usual methods of communication with (supervisor’s name):” Summarize why, when and how you and your supervisor communicate. Do you meet and talk in his office every day? Once or twice a week? Do you converse most often in person, by email or by phone? Here and below, be especially judicious about using words, such as “always,” “usually” and “never.”
Write “Strengths of (supervisor’s name) communication skills:” in bold face type. With precision and specificity, provide a summary of your view and then amplify this section with details. Provide an anecdote, if you can, that underscores these strengths. Be direct, honest and forthright and provide restrained praise where appropriate; lofty, winded superlatives might call your critique into question for its sincerity. Write no more than two descriptive paragraphs, remembering that the goal is to keep your critique to a single page.
Write “Areas for improvement in (supervisor’s name) communication skills:” in bold face type. With the same precision and specificity, describe in a constructive manner how your supervisor could improve his communication behaviors. Strive for relevance: Be sure to explain how these improvements either could help you perform better on the job, help other employees or improve the organization. Balance is important to a critique; so, try to write approximately the same number of words in this section as you did in the one above.
Write a polite closing statement, such as: “If you should need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at (your work phone number or extension). Thank you for giving me the opportunity to improve the culture and effectiveness of (name of your organization).”