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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 24, 2011 / 19 Shevat, 5771

Making Others Feel Bad

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Once upon a time, I pointed out a mistake made by an employee. After a calm explanation as to how it happened, why it was important, and how to correct it in the future, she stared at me in horror. Pointing her finger at me she cried back, "Don't you realize how bad telling me that makes me feel?" She went on to explain how unfair it was of me to cause her distress when she had tried so hard. Sure, the result might be below accepted standards, but that did not excuse "attacking" her. Coaching and warnings she had previously received, she believed, placed additional pressure on her. "Didn't you think I feel bad enough without you bringing this up?" I explained that it was understandable she felt bad since, "It is appropriate when you do something wrong to feel bad." It was not the type of help she wanted. "You shouldn't make people feel bad" was her retort. I was reminded of Oscar Wilde's observation that, "There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has the right to blame us."

Knowing how to handle mistakes and criticism made by you, or others, is a critical skill. This skill is often more important than the original mistake. The common wisdom is, "People who make mistakes should have them pointed out to them. Criticism should not be hurtful, it should be constructive." But there is danger inherent in the common wisdom.

Where recipients of criticism are free to choose how they react, based on when it suits their purposes, you are at their mercy. For mangers who want happy team, this is a trap. The same holds true for parents, generals, and husbands. In the words of one life coach and star performer, Madonna, "Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another." Giving others the power to veto through their reactions is giving your power away.

You cannot shy away from telling essential truths because the recipient is hurt. Nor should you reject the validity of criticism you receive because it was done in a manner that hurt you. Determine the validity of the criticism separate from the reaction. Martin Luther King said, "The highest form of maturity is the ability to be self critical." The distinction between aggressive conduct and abusive behavior is not based upon the response of someone else. Don't accept the subjective reactions of others, as to what is right or wrong. Recognize that it is an important element of leadership, that you must do things that cause unhappiness.

The power of optimism, positive thoughts, self-image, and visualizing success are touted as the key to winning. If you can dream it, ergo… you can do it. This sells books, seminars, and gives ugly ducklings the steadfast belief they are truly swans. Shooting for the stars is noble. If your goals are too low you may be satisfied hitting them, and miss accomplishing what you could do. In most instances, we live with conditions and goals imposed by others. It is how we react that most often determine our success.

What you need the most is to focus on the work/problem at hand. Are you prepared to deal with your own reactions? Can you accept that your feelings may be hurt, but limit your hurt so you can accurately assess the situation? Determine the validity of the criticism, but separate it from who and how it is delivered to you.

Some executives, religious leaders, and bankers use terror as a management technique; they create fear to force obedience and control. Schoolyards are not the only place you find bullies. Do not doubt for one minute that crime doesn't pay. And bullies can get their way. When you are faced with an abusive leader, you often do not always have the luxury of "standing up" to them. You need the job, you need their donation, you need to take their required course, and you have to listen to the prison warden. Practice ignoring the distraction of others yelling at you and concentrate on the issues. Practice having your work criticized. Taking criticism, including really stupid criticism from others, is one of the most important skills you will learn in life. It is not easy to avoid flinching when someone is taking a swing at you.

Developing your ability to handle and evaluate criticism, gives you an enormous advantage. You develop this skill so you can really examine and listen to the criticism to determine what part is useful to you. If you can maintain an emotional balance and distance, then you can make rational decisions.

If you are giving or receiving criticism, you need to become savvy as to what signals you are sending via body language, voice tone, and levels. Use your signals constructively. Read the signals of others, from others. Understand what you are dealing with, abuse, aggressiveness, or melt down, prior to going too far down the road.

"Take charge" leaders can bully their group to the point where they end up with "Yes Men". I sat on a board of directors once and was surprised to hear the association executive give the board information that was totally inaccurate. When one of the board members grilled and interrogated him, the association executive avoided the problem by telling the board member what he wanted to hear. Practice giving and accepting criticism. Practice reading the signals. Be prepared to learn something when life (and criticism) is unfair. Look for ways to avoid bullies when you can. When you cannot avoid them, survive; and learn from the experience. Survival is half the battle.

Attacking or demeaning individuals is wrong. Holding them accountable for their actions is not. Delivering criticism in constructive and private situations is optimum, but not always available. Being abusive is often subjective. Demeaning people for sport is wrong, causing people to feel bad is not wrong. Feeling bad is important. As General, and Secretary of State, Colin Powell said, "A sense of shame is not a bad moral compass."

Uncensored PPS: I write my articles, run them through www.paperrater.com for errors and then send each one to my wife for review. After writing today's column I was in the grocery store and innocently ask my wife, "Hey, isn't that the Thai sauce I like so much in the restaurant?" "No, I've told you three times before it is THE VIETNAMESE SAUCE that you like" she snapped back at me. "That was a bit harsh" I meekly respond. Being the gracious woman that she is, my wife immediately said, "I'm sorry" and I quickly accept her apology with, "It's okay." At the end of the aisle my wife stopped, turned to me and gently explained, "You know, I'm not sorry; you really should develop the ability to handle and evaluate criticism." Being the kind and noble woman that she is, my wife pushed the grocery cart on to the next aisle.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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