I recently saw a documentary about heckling and criticism that made an incredible impact on me and I really started to think about how critical our society has become. It also reminded me that I need to be more aware of how I talk to people and express my opinions.
When I saw this movie, I was reminded about many of the conversations that I have had with other people and how poorly I communicated my criticism of their work/ideas. I am not proud of those moments, and looking back with 20/20 vision, I would like to think that I would handle them differently. But I still make those mistakes from time to time. I think we all do.
I think that we all have the capacity to forget that the people BEHIND the avatars online or the movies and books we read have emotions. When the need arises and we have to criticize someone’s work, we can forget that there is a fine line between giving our opinions and crushing someone’s feelings.
Check out this trailer for Heckler (available on Netflix - affiliate link)
I know that are going to be times when you have to provide your opinion on an idea or piece of work, and you should always be honest, but honest criticism does not always have to be harsh or negative. Any criticism you give should always be tempered with the other person’s emotions in mind.
Simple Solution to Provide Criticism of Someone’s Work / Ideas
1. Always Provide Honest and Direct Feedback
2. Your Feedback Should Also Include Suggestions to Make Improvements
3. Before and After Your Speak…LISTEN to What the Other Person Has to Say
4. Follow Up Afterwards to Provides Support and Encouragement
I know that all this MAY sound a little Politically Correct, but if it’s all about relationships we have to work at communicating or dislikes as easily as our likes…and not steamroll over people’s feelings in the process.
Are We TOO Critical?
From Twitter and Facebook to Blogs and Websites, the Internet has allowed millions of people the opportunity to become self-proclaimed critics. And all too often, to seek polarity and page hits, their reviews go negative. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
I have a friend, Lou, he is a blogger and he is one of the most positive people I know! His posts are positive, his podcasts are positive and his tweets are positive. It’s just how he chooses to live. Even when someone wrongs him, he stays positive. Trust me on that one…
Our culture THRIVES on negativity. Listen to the political pundits (on BOTH sides) during the last Presidential Campaign. When was the last time you heard one of them say “I think that the only way this candidate can win is to go POSITIVE?”
Negativity is everywhere: newspapers, magazines, blog posts, tweets, updates… We have become a harsh society. Because it’s so easy to be this way. It takes a lot of work to stay positive and communicate with grace and poise.
It may sound old fashioned, but the Golden Rule still applies… Treat others as you would like to be treated. From the living room to the board room, it’s still the best advice around!
It’s Time to Step Back and Think
I think we should all take a few minutes and self-evaluate the conversations we are having and try to find ways to improve the WAY we communicate to our friends, families, and co-workers.
If our culture is to blame for all this negativity…it’s time to change the culture. We are responsible for the words we say and the way in which we speak. It’s time to take back the our culture and change the way we communicate.
We must choose to be positive. I am tired of the negative talk… It’s all up to us…. Will you join me?
What’s the most negative this you have ever seen or read?
How many friends do you have? I think it’s a fair question that we should all ask ourselves periodically. I don’t mean Facebook friends or Twiiterfollowers… I mean real, flesh-and-blood friends that you interact with on a fairly regular schedule?
I am constantly reminded that the people I tweet/message/text.etc. are real and that I should actually talk to them more than I connect with them digitally. But as I integrate more and more technology into my daily routine, I struggle with the fact that I have less and less physical or often emotional contact with the people I care about.
Is this something that you struggle with?
As I grow older, I have begun to realize how important my family and friends are to me. After the recent accident (I fell 12 feet and landed on concrete) I feel much more passionately about the relationships I have in my life and value them even more. I guess the fear that I might have died woke me up to some apathy I had towards my friends.
Is this a problem for you? I would love to know how you balance your “real” relationships versus the “virtual” ones. What do you do to connect with people on a deeper level? I would love to know. It seems cold, in light of this post, but please leave me comment or even email me!
Relationships fascinate me. I’m that guy who sits for hours at the mall and watches people walk by (not in the creepy-dude sorta way) and I wonder about what their lives are like. What kind of relationships they have and if they are good, healthy ones or bad, unhealthy ones. And on one of these days I had an epiphany…