Bebe: Kudos on another excellent article filled with great advice. A few points:
1) Smart people and savvy companies understand that constructive criticism helps them to improve. Therefore, try the tactic of thanking those who offer their well meaning and sincere opinions, rather than condemning them tit-for-tat.
2) Still, as you note, not everyone takes constructive criticism well. Some people misinterpret it as a veiled attack. Therefore, I always find it most helpful to offer genuine praise prior to any criticism, as appropriate and warranted.
3) I concur that too many people are overly sensitive about any criticism in today’s hyper-connected mobile digital and virtual Information Age. There’s just too much political correctness run amok, which ultimately dumbs down society and stifles constructive public discourse. More people, especially writers with fragile egos, should learn to chill out when receiving constructive criticism — rather than getting into “pissing matches” which benefit no one.
4) Thats why before I offer any overly harsh public criticism, I always recall the wise and timeless words of Socrates: “All I know is that I know nothing.”
Thus it’s sometimes best to refrain from harsh public criticism online or off, and instead offer it privately to ease the sting and avoid inadvertently embarrassing someone in public — whether real or perceived.
Do you agree?
cc: Rob FYI