Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fault Lines

I try not to spend much time around critical people. They wear me down. I can do a hundred things right and they wont say a word. But if i mess up one time, they'll be on my doorstep faster than firemen en route to my kitchen.
Some people try to disguise their negative comments by calling them "constructive criticism."

"Your oral report was great. It helped me catch up on all the sleep I've been missing."
"Your solo was wonderful. You hit all the right notes. Next time try to hit them in order."

Maybe there is such thing as constructive criticism, but too often "constructive" criticism is destructive. It's not tempered with sensitivity and it comes from a less-than-helpful heart.
I've worked with many teenagers and i know they can hear compliments all day long, but the one critical comment is what will stick with them. Adults aren't much different.

Sure, we all need to know when we're making mistake, not putting forth our best effort, or completely lousing up. But wouldn't it be better if we spent our time offering constructive encouragement instead? Just asking.

1 comment:

  1. They're also no fun to be around even when you're not the brunt of their negativism. :D