Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Value of Criticism - Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Appreciation?
There is a Foundation for Inspired Learning. I liked the sound of that. What that truly means can only be conveyed through experience. I had the pleasure to experience that within my Coaching Training from Coach for Life. Until then, I had been exposed to all sorts of criticism in the name of teaching, improvement and meaning only the best for me. I have always felt the impact of criticism: it is stagnation, shame, the feeling of not being enough, not being okay, not yet being valuable.... The school system solely works with the focus on mistakes and what is yet MISSING. Then came, what looked like an improvement, but was just a more tricky and harder to disarm version: POSITIVE criticism; the "Great, BUT...". Wanting more and feeling that these kinds of feedback were counterproductive and not helping, I felt doomed until I came upon INSPIRED LEARNING. I had tears in my eyes and goose bumps on my skin, when I learned how illiterate adults got the experience of reading their first own words after decades of desperate failings without being shamed and called stupid, all through the power of inspired learning. I can feel how the energy stagnates and retreats after criticism, after pointing out what is missing, after the "great, but...". Inspired learning however creates a safe learning environment. It highlights what IS there, what is going well. It kindles interest and natural growth. The energy expands naturally from there.
I myself have become a different person, when I am walking through my days, pointing out at people what they do great as opposed to looking for the things that aren´t going well or are missing. MY life improves through that. And people are always so thankful for not getting criticized, belittled. Also, it does not elevate me through putting others down. That is not what the human spark is made of.
It is true that this concept is best understood on the receiving end, but it can also be simply believed and hence applied. This will bring the convincing and stunning results, 100 % guaranteed!!
Now I finally get it why I always felt sorry for critics: Would you like to spend your life always looking for what is missing and what went wrong? Eeeeek! I much more enjoy waltzing through life and being on the receiving end of all that is working wonderfully and that is already there in abundance. And the perspective of taking on the earlier or the latter is a choice that everyone has the freedom to make. Go for it....!
Oh yeah, and the saying that too much appreciation spoils people, well frustrated and self-denying people made that one up. Sad. But getting out of being a frustrated and self-denying person is only one appreciation away...