Thursday, July 21, 2005

Constructive criticism...

one of the big draws for me coming to this industry is the upliftingness (is that a word i just invented?) of it all. i love seeing everyone encourage and support everyone else. i think it is awesome but i struggle with it at times. why?

for many reasons - some which i impose on myself and others by the nature of how my life/career has been shaped.

i had mentioned before and even in my profile that i am somewhat of a perfectionist and a "critical optimist" - and i wonder how much of it is part of my genes or the surroundings by which i grew up. even growing up as a child, my parents never had to tell me to go do my homework or study harder to get an "A" - those were things that i did because i wanted to. i wanted to be valedictorian (who can't spell) in my class. i wanted to go to georgia tech and be a chemical engineer. i wanted to be the best at anything i desired to do. i worked on self-improvement. but along the lines of me knowing what to do is the importance of having people who could honestly tell me what i needed to improve on.

that is something that i wish existed more for this industry. not criticism just for the sake of criticism but criticism to make me better- to make MR better- to make my projects better. self reflection can only take you so far as you look upon it with a subjective eye. but feedback from peers, even though it might be hard to hear, makes you 100x better.

in my past life/career, during our year end evaluations, everyone had to be evaluated on what you did well and what needed improvement - didn't matter if you were at the top or bottom, when evaluation time came, you got something (or somethings) that needed improvment. i resisted at first the needed improvement part for myself - part of that defensive perfectionist nature. but over time, that was important b/c it forced me to look at my weak parts and make it better. it is like working out - if you have good biceps but weak triceps and you only work out your biceps, then your triceps will hold you back from your full arm strength potential...

but that is some of the challenges for deb and i with MR. i don't need someone telling us "you suck" - that does us as a company no good. along with all the good praise, i cherish those comments like "i really wish you all could do x,y,z for the website" or "we had this problem with our order" - things that can make us better. many times, it is things that we know in the back of our minds but the absence of time makes it difficult to address but other times, when we want feedback on our products, it is important to hear both the good and the bad and what we can do to improve the bad...

so keep these things in mind - again not easy to hear the bad things but take those constructive bad things and make yourself, your style, your company grow.


At 7/22/2005 03:37:00 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Wow......I love the thoughts in this entry. Criticism is definitely one thing that I truly struggle with. But you're absolutely right....."even though it might be hard to hear, makes you 100x better." Here's to trying to be better!

carol :) (aka giraffemom)

At 7/26/2005 12:05:00 PM, Anonymous Heather M. said...

Very, very true, Caroline. Constructive criticism does help us to grow and be better which is a good thing. It's just sometimes hard to hear!


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