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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Personal Criticism

One note I had amongst my miscellaneous thoughts was about criticism.  I'm thankful most people think before they speak and weigh criticism heavily in their minds before disclosing.  

Some people have lists of improvements, but really don't want to contribute to making anything better. We look at the amount of effort it would take to make those improvements, and we shy away from opportunities.  I know there are times I have avoided challenge because the road seemed so long and difficult before me.  But the last thing I've though about was how setting criticism aside, as just negativity, could keep us from learning.  

Take for example, someone floundering in the kitchen.  You give them techniques for making the process easier, but they get defensive and say, "Well, if you're so good at it, why don't you do it?"  The response to that question is that, "I want you to learn."  Yes, someone else could do the job in front of you - but don't let criticism block you from trying something beyond your comfort zone, and doing a task that will ultimately benefit you in life.  

I can't say I won't be crabby when I hear something negative, but I do hope I will be open enough to hear it.  And then look at the learning opportunity that may be ahead.

1 comment:

Jane Heitman Healy said...

Hi, Jennifer,

It's taken me half a lifetime to put aside defensiveness, take a deep breath and see what I can learn from criticism. A half a lifetime has also helped me be a better critic--kinder and more encouraging, less harsh and arrogant. With this more open perspective, I think I'll learn a lot in this second half of life!