Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World, Work

Of Criticism and Growth

“The greatest success is by helping others succeed and grow”. Gregory Scott Reid

Daily meetings, brain storming sessions, weekly to monthly audits and assessments are just a few of the many routines that become a part of the working hours. Besides the stress of getting prepared for these meetings is the onslaught of criticism that often comes along with them. Many a time, the harsh words, though said for improvement on the whole, have the potential to ruin not just the mood for the day or the project, but also destroy the cordiality and communication between colleagues.

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” Frank A. Clark

An open two edged sword is criticism; for it has both the power and potential, to create as well as destroy, even if done with the best intentions at heart, albeit a poor deliverance. To grow, one needs to know the better way of doing things as well as new methods. Fresh perspectives are often given when viewed from far, or when heard from a fresh viewpoints. Criticism is needed to grow and flourish; but certain practicalities need to be kept in mind when dealing with them.

“Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.” Margaret Chase Smith

For the criticizers, learning to objective, non-biased, fair and practical, removing undesirable or malicious personal intentions from the root, while thinking to criticize. There are always different ways to say the same thing. For instance, “Although the planning is good, there are few gray areas that may not help it to work out” sounds better than “this plan is preposterous“. While truth is truth, “practical be practically feasible” and “direct-to-the-point sayees” not sugar-coat their words; there are ways to be gentle, direct, kind as well as truthful, without being hurtful, malicious or derive pleasure from the downfall of others. After all what goes around, comes round and back to the initiator in the long run.

“I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

On the receiving end, learning to accept and discard the right words, objectives, advice or plans are equally important in improving the self in the long run. In order to experience growth and progress; one needs to improvise, remove possible errors and initiate changes at the right time. All these and more can be made by accepting fresh perspectives, once in a while. Criticism will always come no matter what. It’s up to oneself to show the right attitude and deal with the words, actions and deeds that one may come across, especially at the work front. As a matter fact, stone are thrown only at trees bearing fruit.

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.” Tena Desae

Many years ago there were a group of brilliant young men at the University of Wisconsin. The group of men seemed to have an amazing creative literary talent and were extraordinary in their ability to put their literary skills to its best use. These promising young men met regularly to read and critique each other’s literary works. These men were merciless while they criticized one another. They dissected the most minute of the expressions and offered tough and even mean criticism to each others work. Their meeting sessions became arenas of literary criticism and the members of this exclusive club called themselves the “Stranglers.”

Not to be excluded to the opportunity to level up there literary skills, the women of literary interest in the university started a club of their own, one comparable to Stranglers. The members called themselves the “ Wranglers.” The member of the lub too presented their literary pieces in front of each another. But the feedback from the members were much more softer, more positive and more encouraging. Every effort from a member, even the most feeble one, was encouraged by all.

After twenty years, a university alumnus was doing a study of his classmates’ career when he noticed a huge difference in the literary accomplishments of the Stranglers and the Wranglers. Among all the brilliant young men in the strangler, none had made any significant literary achievement. But the Wranglers had several successful writers and some renowned national literary talents. The talent and the education between the two groups were almost the same. There were not much difference. The Stranglers strangled each other while the Wranglers gave each other a lift. The stranglers created atmosphere of contention and self doubt while the Wranglers brought out the best in each other. (Source: vk. com)

“If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.” François de La Rochefoucauld