Friday, July 3, 2009

The value of positive re-inforcement in critique?

I was just thinking this morning about "constructive criticism" and the helpful aspects of this, and how it could be more positively used. I have come across critique so many times... as a student, as an artist, in day-to-day relationships with loved ones. Time and time again I have been given 'feedback' of some kind. Criticism of a piece of artistic work, of an essay, of how I have handled a work situation, of my personal weakesses in day-to-day relationships with loved ones and friends. I've delivered critique too of course. Both on personal levels and as teacher of dance and drama.

I don't know I'm no expert and am just randomly blogging a thought - because I had the thought and felt like blogging it!

So many times I've heard something along the lines of "there's no use telling you what is working because its already there, you're already doing it" "I'm only giving you the negatives right now because thats what you need to work on". As and arts student training rigorously in drama I and other students were constantly told what "needed more work" with perhaps a cursory appraisal of positive qualities.

I'm just thinking, how much more valuable if we can continually feed ourselves and each other with positive feedback as well as the necessarry constructive criticism we all need to move forward. I don't always know what I'm doing well, it isn't always obvious to me. Sure we think of it in a more formal 'constructive criticism' situation - but what about ever day ordinariness? I could do with making more use of these ideas of mine!

For young children a big deal is made of positive re-inforcement. You encourage your child to keep doing good things, we are encouraged to praise their hard work, their instances of displaying generosity, their efforts - even when the result is less than may have been desired.

We were all children once, a part of us all is still a child. Why not re-inforce for one another and ourselves on a daily basis. Encourage ourselves and those around us to continue with the things they already do well.

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