Survey

The inflation rate now seems to be going down. What will you try first to handle new price announcements?

Accept any change.
Negotiate any increase to less than 5% increase.
Shop for a lower cost supplier.
Negotiate to postpone any increase.
Ask for a price reduction.

Criticize With Tact and Diplomacy

Date: 08/23/2018

It is easy to find fault in others. Most of us can criticize the way other departments are run or the way other employees behave. But be very careful how you do so unless you enjoy making enemies. Even helpful suggestions can be misinterpreted and cause resentment.

That doesn’t mean that you necessarily should ignore situations that need improvement. Nor does it mean that you should report what you see to higher ups around the backs of your colleagues. What it does mean is that you need to be exceedingly diplomatic. It is always better to compliment someone or talk about the good features of a procedure before you mention other features that may need improvement or change.

The same applies to your criticism of suppliers. It is normal and usual for salespeople and other supplier employees and management to become defensive and even indignant when you are too critical of their methods or products. It may be better to point out the advantages that a competitive product has or of a procedure that a competitor has that makes doing business easier. The supplier will get the message with less pain and will likely then consider improving what they do.

Using facts and figures to prove your criticism is valid is much more persuasive than just giving an opinion. For example, you have a powerful argument if you say that 98% of your suppliers deliver within one day of the agreed upon schedule, whereas the problem supplier averages three days late.

It is better to offer concrete suggestions and objectives rather than just point out the problem. Asking a question about what is possible usually is accepted without resentment. For example, you could say, do you think that you could meet the average schedule delivery times within the next sixty days?