Girl who dances in a cage (cagekitten) wrote,
Girl who dances in a cage
cagekitten

criticism

I saw a book at a friend's house that I thought might help me be a better teacher (there's a lot in it about managing people). The first chapter is on criticism, and wow is it powerful. One of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person's pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment."

It went on to talk about studies that have shown that rewarding for good behavior is far more successful and a faster way influence change than punishment. Criticizing some one doesn't make lasting changes, it often incurs resentment.

The book goes on to talk about a manager who's responsibility it was to make sure his employees wore hard hats. Whenever he saw a worker who wasn't wearing his hard had, he would "tell them with a lot of authority of the regulation and that they must comply." All he got in return was sullen acceptance and workers who would often remove their hats right after he left. The book goes on to explain what happened when he took a different approach:

" he asked them if the hats were uncomfortable or did not fit properly. Then he reminded the men in a pleasant tone of voice that the hat was designed to protect them from injury and suggested that it always be worn on the job. The result was increased compliance with the regulation with no resentment or emotional upset."

And finally, another quote from the book:

"If you want to stir up a resentment tomorrow that may rankle across the decades and endure until death, just let us indulge in a little stinging criticism -- no matter how certain we are it is justified."

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So if you've read this far, now it's your turn. Please post a comment explaining a time when you were critical of some one or directly to them. What were the results?
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