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Off Topic => Off Topic - Ideas, politics, humor, inspiration => Topic started by: hpinson on August 28, 2014, 06:30:57 AM

Title: Constructive Criticism
Post by: hpinson on August 28, 2014, 06:30:57 AM
John, Don and I had a private discussion about this, and wanted to open it up for more comment and ideas.

My questions is how, on this board, do we constructively criticize without shutting someone down?  Critique and suggestions are a big and valuable part of this board, but how do we a) know when to offer critique, and b) when not to, and c) when we do critique, offer it in a positive and constructive way?

I was reading a blog this morning by James Altucher and he said this - I though it was pretty good description of the process:

"CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM WORKS LIKE THIS:

a. “Yes, and”
b. List what’s good
c. How you would improve
d. Figure out the vision that is the base of the idea that you are talking about. e. Connect the “Why” of what you are suggesting to the initial vision. Does it work better than the initial idea? f. Be open to the fact that you might be wrong. ALWAYS ALWAYS you might be wrong."
Title: Re: Constructive Criticism
Post by: kenhill on August 28, 2014, 07:33:35 AM
In Toastmasters, we use the sandwich method.  What is good, suggestions for imporvement, concluded with an overall assessment of the positives.  We avoid the word criticism (or weakness, what i don't like) and use words like suggestion, improve, strenthen, solidify..

The problem with the typed word is the missing feedback of vocal tone and body language.  So it is easy to misread the tone of the word.  It would help to use self-humbling words like if I understand, consider this change, another approach could be...

I think everyone does a great job being professional on this forum and I can remember only a couple of rough exchanges.

I appreciate everyones contribution.
Title: Re: Constructive Criticism
Post by: hpinson on August 28, 2014, 07:46:16 AM
It's an exceptional forum in that regard. Great suggestions!
Title: Re: Constructive Criticism
Post by: Don_P on August 28, 2014, 02:07:50 PM
There is another side to the equation as well. I fully agree with approaching situations from the perspective of "I've been wrong before and I'll be there again". When the thread starts with "I'm new to this" and the poster then responds to suggestions defensively I try to be low key. The problem with this, and when I chime in again, is when they respond by inventing a "new" solution or rationalization that will potentially be picked up by another innocent. At that point there is a certain imperitive to respond with correct information even if it bruises the op's ego... and it almost invariably does no matter how dulcet the tone.

For the case I believe in question, there was more wrong than anyone verbalized but the poster made it clear he was not interested in any form of critique. It is a two way street. We have mentioned that a certain number of people post for confirmation or praise rather than for information. That is another legitimate reason for human interaction.
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