“Dogs bark at those they do not know.”
—Samuel Daniel, 17th Century English Poet
Image from Flickr by Toshihiro Gamo
Can you imagine people barking like dogs at people they don’t know?
In many ways, we do just that, except our bark is often silent, much like a dog whistle is to we humans.
This inner bark is often our judgement, criticism, and prejudice, showing that we are rarely open or receptive to another’s point of view, perspectives, or beliefs.
Take a look at the communities within your personal and professional worlds. What, overall, is the cost of the silent and not so silent “barking”?
Peace and a sense of unified community is hard to find, even if all signs point to things being fine on the surface.
Where would acknowledging and working on your own judgmental and critical tendencies support your cooperative and collaborative nature with those you’ve barked at in the past?
“Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing.”
—Arnold Glasgow, Psychologist
Image from Flickr by Team Omega Racing
If you’ve ever been to a loud concert, or slept next to someone who snores, you know the value of a good set of earplugs!
When we consider the difference between what people say and what others hear, we may think that some people forget to remove their earplugs when they rise in the morning.
Those little foam rubber buds may protect our ears from harsh noises, but we may also want to investigate the harsh judgements and criticism we choose to hear or block out.
How would more praise and acknowledgement improve our ability to listen, hear, and relate to one another?
“Don’t belittle yourself. Be-Big yourself.”
—Corita Kent, American Catholic Nun
Image from fineartamerica.com
There is, perhaps, no greater destructive force in relationships than that of belittling and diminishing others. Eleanor Roosevelt gave us a bit of coaching with her famous quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Today’s quote points to the not always recognized inner critic and the things we say about ourselves. How often do you chastise, berate, belittle, and judge yourself, personally or professionally?
What alternative “Be-Bigging” messages can you use now and in the future to build, empower, and support your own self-confidence and self-worth?
Consider enlisting the help and coaching of others when you aren’t aware of these often hidden attempts to bring yourself down.
“If criticism is needed, do it tactfully. Don’t use a sledgehammer when a fly swatter will do the job.”
-Ann Landers, Advice Columnist
image from www.blogging4jobs.com
Providing constructive feedback is the cornerstone of a healthy and productive coaching relationship. Criticism, or the more common term, “constructive criticism” can often have less than desirable and even destructive consequences.
A critical determinant to providing effective and optimal feedback is a trusting relationship in which both parties are focused and committed to the same objective.
How would a more tactful coaching approach be used in your world, to provide the valuable feedback you desire in supporting those around you toward enhanced performance and productivity?
“Criticize by Creating.”
We have all heard the phrase “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Though we may not share our criticisms verbally, they are still heard loud and clear by our inner selves, and perhaps are observed by others through facial expressions and body language.
Michelangelo coaches us to mobilize our creativity to improve a situation rather than sitting in judgement of the situation. This simple idea is critical in the business world in that our leaders and managers are looking for optimistic, “can-do” people to forward their organizations, not negative “the-glass-is-half-empty” people who rain on other people’s parades.
How supportive or critical are your thoughts? Pay close attention today. Should you notice the dark side emerging more often than you desire, ask yourself what creative action you can take to move things in a better direction. Don’t be surprised if engaging your creativity gets you noticed by others and has others around you holding you in higher regard!
“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember… the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.”
—Zig Ziglar, American author, salesman, and motivational speaker
How are you doing on your personal success journey? If you gave yourself a grade, would you be deserving of an “A+”? Or would it be something less remarkable?
It’s not unusual for most of us to be distracted by nay-Sayers – those who cause us to doubt our progress and take our foot off the gas, even if it is only momentary.
Perhaps the critics feel that as we move forward, they fall further behind. They point the finger at us rather than themselves in an attempt to sabotage our efforts or deflate our sense of accomplishment so they can feel better about themselves.
How can you invite more people in your professional and personal worlds to join you in their own success journey? Should they choose not to come along, how will you shield yourself from their biting criticism? What if you removed the toxic individuals from your life entirely?