Social media allows anyone to connect directly to authors and thought leaders and have unfiltered conversations that were just not possible in the past. I just had a lunchtime exchange on Facebook with Larry Winget, author of the upcoming book “No Time for Tact.” A self-described pitbull of personal development, Larry’s in-your-face, direct style can be equally off-putting and refreshing. It’s shock value with a point, and I like it.
Here’s our brief wall conversation following this posted book excerpt:
“Constructive criticism is a stupid concept. To construct means to build up. To criticize is to tear down. You can’t do both at the same time. Pick one (from “No Time For Tact.”) I also wrote about the Crap Sandwich concept in my book. Any way you slice it, at the end, you still have the taste of crap in your mouth. Better to just give it to people straight. We spend way too much time trying to soften the blow and don’t end up serving people well at all.”
Really? Personally, this goes against everything I learned from my parents, school, church and Toastmasters. And hey, I’m from Indiana. People from Indiana grow up nice. I felt compelled to throw in my two cents…
“Larry, I agree that criticism tears down in preparation for building up. The key is asking someone if they want it before you just dump it on them. ‘Would you like my opinion on how you can improve?’ If they say no, be prepared to walk away.”
“David, if they work for you, you don’t have to ask, it’s your obligation to criticize their work. If they don’t work for you, I have discovered it is best to wait until they ask you. People don’t want to change any way or they already would have so why put yourself through the grief of “helping” them? It’s a waste of time and effort for everyone.”
“Good point Larry. In my experience though, I see so much crap rolling downhill for everyone at work, I find it helps morale to get it in “sandwich form” occasionally 🙂 I have also found some people willing to change, starving for help, but afraid to ask. So I volunteer my humble advice. Some say yes, some say no thanks.”
“David, your point is well taken.”
I share this with you because:
A) It shows that Larry Winget is reasonable and willing to have an intelligent conversation with his readers, and
B) I really want to know what you think about Larry’s claim above, “We spend way too much time trying to soften the blow and don’t end up serving people well at all.” Do you agree?