Critics   2 comments

I ran across an excellent quote this morning on Twitter:

“It’s always easier to critique what others do than to find another level of excellence in what we do.”  – Jonathan Pearson

It definitely was a timely quote for me because late yesterday, I received feedback on a project which I had been working on for one of the organizations with which I volunteer.  The feedback was in essence stating that  the work I had completed was inaccurate and needed to be redone by the person offering the feedback.  I confess that I did not receive this information very well.  Maybe it was my mood or the circumstances of the week.  In addition to this, I have watched someone who I have come to consider as a friend, experience a week of others critique him.  He has had a difficult week and I would say the critiques are off base

Icon for 'redo' based partially on Image:Circl...

Icon for ‘redo’ based partially on Image:Circle-contradict.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I believe that thing that frustrated me the most about the incident yesterday was the fact that no one else appeared to want to do the work and so I was asked to complete the project.  Over the year that I had been in charge of the project, the individual who gave the feedback continuously has critiqued and redone my work.  I become aggravated when a volunteer agrees to take on a project and then another person (who previously would not take the project)  redoes the work of the volunteer.  I strongly believe that if you (or an organization) gives someone a project to do, then let them do it and do not rework it.  There is nothing wrong with individuals providing suggestions and input but it should be when it is solicited and not as an on-going supervision.

We need to learn how to support one another.  We need to realize that none of us can claim perfection.  Mistakes can and will happen. So this quote is important for all of us to hear.  We must strive to improve ourselves.  We must offer understanding and forgiveness to others.  We must encourage one another.  I am reminded of the scene where Jesus encounters a group a people about to stone a woman for adultery.  He makes this statement:

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7b, NIV)


2 responses to “Critics

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  1. Having been in this situation myself, I understand your frustration and feelings of hurt. When you have poured yourself into a project, spent hours in research and writing and development, it is amazing how quickly someone can bring it all crashing down.

    One of the ways I have learned to prevent this it is to provide the group with occasional updates. While this spoils the big reveal, it allows opportunity for others to offer constructive criticisms and redirect your efforts. It can also avoid the big let down of having a year’s worth of work trashed in a few harsh sentences.

    At the start of a project, some people have difficulty seeing the grand picture, they can feel overwhelmed or feel that they don’t have anything to offer. Providing periodic updates can allow these individuals to begin to see the direction and they can then provide ideas. When a big project is dumped in your lap, breaking it down into simple tasks and recruiting people to help with small pieces of the project can help. People who were unwilling to take on the whole thing may not mind spending a small amount of time on one piece of the project. This allows you to focus on the critical aspects of the project and to pull it all together at the end. This also allows for some joint ownership of the project which can stem some of the criticism.

    Now if I can only learn to take my own advice.

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