I made a mistake for an organisation I volunteer for recently, only a small one with very minor consequences, but was 'bawled out' in no uncertain terms in front of others, by the person I report to. I tactfully reminded him I am an unpaid volunteer and was told that was irrelevant.
Naturally I didn't have the best of days after that. It reminded me of a great boss I once had who used to begin a reprimand by saying in private 'I have spotted an opportunity for you to improve'. Compare the two above approaches, no prizes for guessing which worked best for me!
This has led me to write a post about what works best - criticism or praise? Can our children today handle criticism when at school it seems all they receive is praise, even for not very good effort or work? Are employers these days very skilled at how to motivate, correct behaviours and give positive criticism?
It seems to me that 'Thanks' is indeed the most neglected form of compensation!
My Grand Daughter asked me last week what I thought of the story she had written. I made it clear that I was very happy to do so, but was she happy for me to say the good things as well as things that I thought she could improve on? Having her agree to that led to a pretty successful 'review' of her story and she happily agreed she had learnt from my gently constructive criticisms.
My neighbour teaches at a primary school and agrees that kids being unable to handle criticism is a pretty big problem. If they are not open to feedback, how will they progress and improve? Apparently they are saying that they cannot handle criticism so please don't give it to me! Wow so how are those children expected to cope when entering the workplace later in life with all the pressures, ups and downs, disgruntled bosses and criticism they might well encounter?
My belief is that everyone will learn better from not only praise, but also their mistakes, as long as they are recognised and discussed positively with an outcome in mind. To give feedback that is only positive all the time, regardless of the quality of the work, is a misguided effort to improve self esteem.
It certainly is a skill to give constructive criticism, as it is also a skill to welcome criticism, embrace it, be thankful for it and act on it.
Someone once said to me when reviewing work - 'Give three positive strokes before a negative one'.
Thoughts on that?
Anyway, of course I am very happy to receive any feedback on this thread!
Bye for now, The Bro