no criticism allows us to float on the superficial surface

brainstorming look at things

 

If you should go skating

On the thin ice of modern life

Don’t be surprised,

When a crack in the ice

Appears under your feet

You slip out of your depth and out of your mind

As you claw the thin ice!

 

Pink Floyd <The Thin Ice>

 

 

Ah.

 

This post begins with one of my favorite subjects … brainstorming bashing … but ends on more about how we are failing society by curbing the art of criticism.

 

 

First.

 

Brainstorming.

 

I hate brainstorming. I believe it is the bane of the business world.

 

<and I have written as much: http://brucemctague.com/i-hate-brainstorming  >

 

 

My friend Jen sent me the attached video on why brainstorming is … well … bad <but do not worry … ideas are still good>.

 

Bad as in … well … useless <waste of time>.

 

Ok.

 

Less than effective.

 

Brainstorming is a waste of time Video:

http://inspire52.com/did-you-know-brainstorming-is-a-waste-of-time-and-psychologically-proven-to-not-be-productive-at-all/?utm_source=Inspire52&utm_campaign=8bb1fe3437-Newsletter_1162014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_08bd6a3366-8bb1fe3437-77635497

 

 

But.

 

brain and clever poohWhile I love the thoughts on brainstorming bashing in the video … it is the thought that “no criticism allows us to float on the superficial surface of the imagination” which drove me to share thoughts.

 

Let’s think about this.

 

First we had good ole plain criticism.

 

Then we created something called ‘constructive criticism.’

 

Now we have fallen to ‘no criticism.’

 

 

Ah.

 

But let me pause on ‘constructive criticism.’

 

It seems that at some point in the past some business management guru, seeking a way to make the receiver of criticism more receptive to whatever shitstorm you are inevitably going to bring down upon someone, developed the concept of constructive criticism.  It was  developed as a communication technique intended to ‘identify and find solutions to problems in a positive way.’

 

 

Unlike general criticism <which is obviously negative> a constructive analysis supposedly builds someone up.

How?

 

The idea is to identify <in theory> one problem and gets a person to think about what caused the issue.

It also invites <implying some form of shared involvement in the shitstorm being brought down upon you> you to find possible solutions to whatever needs to be improved.

 

The theory is that by promoting problem solving and self-improvement constructive criticism advances a person to the next level of behavior or achievement.

 

Well.

 

The problem begins with the fact that how we articulate problems aren’t necessarily true.

<insert an ‘uh oh’ here>

 

They’re simply one interpretation of the facts.

 

Constructive criticism kind of ignores offering feedback within some spirit of exploration.

 

To me … criticism has to begin from a place of declaration … shit … that is what criticism is.

 

That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some dialogue rather than monologue and there should always be some sense of curiosity rather than certainty and a thread of humility <or a sense of ‘I don’t now frickin’ everything> also helps … but … c’mon … criticism is criticism.

 

I don’t agree with the common belief that we would be better off eliminating criticism from our lexicons altogether.

 

Yes. It is polarizing.

 

No. It is not mostly destructive.

 

Well.

 

create destroy pencilActually criticism is about destroying.

As in destroy to create.

 

Destroying some belief, attitude, perception … maybe even a behavior.

 

Before anyone goes ballistic on me.

 

Yes.

We need to think of an exchange in dialogue as opportunities for honest inquiry and genuine learning.

 

Yes.

We should do as Covey noted … ‘seek to understand.’

 

No.

Criticism shouldn’t stop or slow that <although it may because there is truly a psychological ‘shuttering’ of the mind when it occurs>.

 

 

But criticism is ‘destroy to create.’

 

Uh oh.

 

Destroy is awful harsh.

 

 

Ah.

But create is positive isn’t it?

 

Do I need to be politically correct to attain the greater good?

 

Why can’t someone just assume the greater good?

 

Paraphrasing Plato …

 

——-

“Our aim was not the disproportional happiness of any one class, but the greatest happiness of the whole; we thought that in a dialogue built with a view to the good of the whole we should be most likely to find truth.”

 

 ——-

 

In the drive to build something ‘with a view to the good of the whole’ you have to assume constant movement and unceasing change within some moral structure that remains constant.

 

In fact … a Socratic dialogue takes the form of question-answer, question-answer, question-answer. It is a dialectic style  where you argue both sides of a question in order to arrive at a conclusion.

 

Act and react.

 

Destroy and create.

 

Criticism starts the never-ending process.

 

All with a view to the good of the whole.

 

 

I imagine my biggest issue … and question on this topic is … without criticism how does it begin?

 

Do we depend upon one’s own self questioning or self-doubt to begin the no laughingprocess?

 

<answer: nope>

 

 

Criticism has a role.

 

Sharp edges break through.

 

C’mon.

Think about it.

 

Here’s a question guaranteed to make you cringe … ‘would you mind if I gave you some feedback?’

 

Oh.

 

What that actually means is ‘would you mind if I gave you some negative feedback, wrapped in the guise of constructive criticism, whether you want it or not?’

 

insult no offense

The issue with criticism is that it challenges our sense of value.

 

 

Criticism implies some type of judgment … and we all dislike feeling judged.

 

This guy named Daniel Goleman has said … ‘threats to our esteem in the eyes of others are so potent they can literally feel like threats to our very survival.’

 

The problem still remains … feedback is necessary.

 

The dialectic dialogue needs to take place.

 

It’s the primary means by which we learn and grow.

 

 

Think about it.

And ponder this.

 

 

It also seems to me that criticism actually enhances self-esteem … not destroys it.

 

 

Well.

 

How about this … it destroys to create. Criticism teaches self-esteem resiliency.

 

Look.

 

Of course I support balanced criticism.

 

But many people seem to take constructive criticism too personally, reacting more with emotion than logic and allowing what others have said to hurt their self-esteem.

 

These people generally miss the fact that whatever was said was meant with good intent.

 

An intention to create a dialogue to destroy and create something new & better.

 

An intention for the good of the whole.

 

 

And even while most people <receiving the shitstorm> typically are consciously or subconsciously willing to accept whatever the other person says as being the truth. They become defensive, sometimes even verbally attacking the person or group that tried to help.

 

This can happen because self-esteem is overly high.

 

This can happen because the individuals being criticized are trying to protect themselves against feeling bad.curiosity leader burden

 

This can happen because the criticizer just sucks at articulating the criticism <even despite good intent>.

 

I think we all know that any type of criticism requires awareness of oneself and the environment. And this is relevant to the deliverer of the shitstorm as well as the receiver of the shitstorm.

 

Here is my worry.

 

Without criticism we end up floating on the superficial surface.

We skate.

 

And Life is too short to just skate from one problem to the next and not use those as potential lessons to teach ourselves how to not repeat them.

 

But in today’s society it seems like skating is what we do best.

 

We do just enough to get by.

 

We say just enough to not potentially hurt someone’s feelings.

 

We become proud of ourselves for finding a shortcut to getting things done.

 

We are just too stubborn to understand that we are really making more work for ourselves in the long run.

 

Criticism is one of the few times where reflecting upon the past actually increases your instinctual behavior for the future. Criticism <sometimes painfully> creates the imprints which actually help you sometimes foresee things that are going to happen.

 

Or as Wayne Gretzky said:

 

——-

‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’curiosity less judgement

Wayne Gretzky

——-

 

 

Criticism is a lost art.

 

No criticism means we inevitably end up floating on the superficial surface.

 

No criticism means we will only skate to where the puck has been.

 

No criticism is bad.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Written by Bruce