Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Criticism Or Encouragment: Which Is Better?

Alison Armstrong posted this interesting article at Huffington Post.

Criticism Or Encouragment: Which Is Better?

By Alison Armstrong

Is he too judgmental? Is she too soft? Or is he the one that validates effort while she's the one that it's hard to earn a compliment from? And which one of them is right?

The conflict between judgment and encouragement has been raging now for decades. It's a battle between the masculine and feminine. One could say the self-esteem movement was a feminine reaction to anything that was perceived to diminish people or make them feel bad. The feminine hates for people to feel bad. But what if it's sometimes necessary?

This is another area where we'll all be better off if we strive to balance the masculine and feminine. Like my friend Robert, a single dad, who "coughs up a feminine moment" for his son on a regular basis. Or like our triumvirate of executives at PAX who between us make clear unequivocal demands and give an abundance of acknowledgment. Whether it's for your children or your students, for your athletes or your employees, how you accomplish it is not nearly as important as that you do.

Like most women, I used to be appalled by the criticism and harsh judgment I witnessed and experienced in men. I thought it was a sure sign of their lack of maturity and evolution. But then I started studying men from the adopted perspective of "What if there is a good reason for everything they do?" That was how I discovered the importance of judgment, however brutal it might seem.

Read the rest of this post.

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