You did, but we were on the train and it was loud and I was sleepy, so I could probably use a refresher.
Yeah. You only get to play one "we're doing it wrong" card -- it turns into a joke after that. So you need to be sure and use it for the right thing!
I hate the fact that this is necessary. When someone tells me something that's just wrong, and I can see that it's wrong, it just fills me with despair that I have to deal with this person to do whatever it is I need to do.
It's like, On second thought, why don't you go home, I'll take care of it. Yeah, thanks, bye.
I'm satisfied avoiding excess verbage and not couching criticisms in feel-good puffery. Playing guessing games is for idiots who like to torture their significant other, not for getting business done.
2005-11-15 03:57 am (UTC)
beg to differ
What's the context?
If its in a classroom setting, then yes. If you're supervising an intern, then that makes sense. In those scenarios, you'd want the person to figure it out on their own.
However, if you're in a workplace, I'd say be a little more direct and never be self-depriciative. Rather, speak in as objective a voice as possible. Talk about stuff that anyone can see.
I agree with you about just saying, "You did it wrong" and leaving at that as being stupid. I'm one of those people that, if I do it, its because I think I'm doing it right, so you need to point out when I'm doing something wrong because I won't just notice it on my own. I really appreciate comments like, "The widget is missing" because they aren't self-depriciative to the teller (which seems passive-agressive to me) and they aren't critical like "You forgot the widget." They're just observable facts.
"You forgot the widget."
Oh, that's better! I'm changing it to that!
(This is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, by the way. =) )
No, you're not. Lots of times it's hard for people to tell whether I'm joking or not. Sometimes it's hard for me to tell.
J.P. just finished draft #7 of Snap, the culmination of about 9 solid months of writing and editing. You know what he told me? "I love getting feedback, especially criticism, because then I know how to make my work better."
He never takes it personally. If I only had that attitude.
When you know what you've done is pretty good, but you just don't know how to make it any better, the time is ripe for constructive criticism. The trick is to surround yourself with people who know how to take things from good to great. That's what J.P. has done.
That's what I do, every day at work. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at accepting criticism. I wish people would just accept what I do instead of offering suggestions for improvement.
Well, like J.P. said, that's what helps one get better. If they always just said "Good job" and left it at that, then you wouldn't improve.
The most important part of criticism is the perception of the receiver. That is to say, if you are known to be a nice person who genuinely does want to be helpful and doesn't hold grudges or fly off the handle, then your correction, whether direct, or couched in fluff, is going to be taken well. The best example is when you try on a pair of jeans and your bestest friend grimaces and suggests something else. You know your friend wants what's best for you, so you eagerly listen.
If, though, you are a gruff and unpleasant bastard that poisons the air with hate and meanness...then it doesn't matter what you say or how you say it.
I work under post-docs, other students, technicians and professors and I work over some other post-docs, students and technicians in certain areas and this is the one thing I have found to be the most true, whether there is authority involved or not.
I hear that. Either one of the responses above could come off as helpful or hateful, I guess.