Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Criticism is Hard!

Criticism is hard! Most of us don’t like to be criticized and we feel bad when it happens. We have to admit that sometimes we deserve it and sometimes we don’t and I am not sure which hurts the most. My personal problem is that I tend to respond much too quickly when I should take the time to cool down and evaluate my part of it.

There are some differences between Criticism, Critique, and Evaluation. Criticism is usually sharp and says, “I don’t like what you did or said.” It is an expression of displeasure from one person to the other. It is most often received badly and does little good. In fact it is often counter productive.

A Critique is a step up from criticism though the two words stem from the same root. A critique can be either positive or negative and often both. It too can say something went wrong so let’s discuss the possibilities for correction. This is an approach that is often lost in our society.

As a Toastmaster I am very much into evaluation as a tool to help one another improve our lives, work and progress. It usually starts with here is what went well and is followed with here is one way to improve on this. Always it is followed up with appreciation for the effort.

As a mayor of a small city I am in a position of no matter what I do some people will be happy and some will be very unhappy by the same action. Some of those who are unhappy will remember for a long time but that is just the way it is. What I have to constantly work on myself about is how do I respond? Sometimes even when I try to have a cool down period the other party is impatient and demands an immediate response. When I fall for that I am usually not going to give a good well thought out answer. We are still a work in progress. Lord help me!

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