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Another Word on Criticism

by CharlieM1958
posted 09-24-2010 07:38 PM

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75 replies

75 replies so far

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1565 posts in 3223 days

#1 posted 09-24-2010 07:43 PM

It reminds me of Billy Madison.

Billy Madison: Well, I made the duck blue because I’d never seen a blue duck before and I wanted to see one.
Miss Lippy: Well, I think it’s an excellent blue duck. Congratulations Billy, you just passed the first grade.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

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5448 posts in 3691 days

#2 posted 09-24-2010 07:47 PM

Charlie—I agree whole-heartedly. Well said!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View patron's profile


13609 posts in 3369 days

#3 posted 09-24-2010 07:48 PM

well said , charlie

we all have a different path
regardless of how parallel they may seem

to each his own

and a kind word
goes a long way

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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8536 posts in 3676 days

#4 posted 09-24-2010 07:48 PM

I agree, and come to the conclusion, that unless I am familiar with the poster, and he/she with me, and we are comfortable critiquing one another – I simply will not comment on such projects – unless they implicitly ask for it

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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18291 posts in 3704 days

#5 posted 09-24-2010 07:52 PM

Well said Charlie. I hope the sister recovered from her wound, yoiu didn’t say. :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3460 days

#6 posted 09-24-2010 07:56 PM

Well said, Charlie… I think I had Sister Agnes too… but I was too scared to take her on!
Why be nasty… there is always something to like about a project, if nothing else, the fact that someone wanted to share it with some 20,000 other woodworkers!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3202 days

#7 posted 09-24-2010 07:58 PM

Well said, Charlie.

The only things that you’d really have to know, in order to give constructive criticism, and have it be well received are:

- everything about the personality of the person whose project it was,
- what kind of mood they’re in on the given moment that you might offer up constructive criticism, and
- how to word constructive criticism in such a way as to preclude even the possibility of it being taken wrong.

There. Now how hard can THAT be ;-)

Incidentally, I live a few miles from Sister Agnes, these days. She STILL has a bruise, there. Ever thought about major league ball ? I bet you throw a MEAN fastball :-)

-- -- Neil

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2979 days

#8 posted 09-24-2010 08:01 PM

I was going to say, “Well said, Charlie” but five people already beat me to it! So instead, thumbs up to you.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3135 days

#9 posted 09-24-2010 08:08 PM

Hear, Hear, Charlie,
Like our parents told us as youngsters, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.”
I’m just getting started in woodworking and I have a long road ahead of me to even approach the talent I see here. And even I can see the difference in true talent and ability, and kindergarten level talent and ability.(me being in the latter). Even an atta boy here and there is encouragement for us newbies to try harder.
The members I appreciate the most, are the approachable ones that are willing to offer gentle critiques and encouragement.
We all make mistakes everyday. And we know it. We don’t need to have it hammered in over and over. It is much more upbuilding to have guidance to improve our abilities and knowledge of woodworking.
The first to correct me on another forum was a true gentleman, knotscott. I followed him here and have not left. I have found many gentlemen and gentle-ladies here that are fantastic mentors, critics and teachers.
Charlie, your help and suggestions on my little project were invaluable, and I thank you. I could run several pages just listing the names of other friends I have made here.
It is as the Bible says, “A gentle word turns away wrath.” Thank you senior woodworkers for your gentle words. Please know that I appreciate you and your leadership eminently. Thank you, Rand

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#10 posted 09-24-2010 08:20 PM

And just to reiterate, I do understand that most of those who advocate critique are talking about giving it in a gentle and friendly manner.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4327 days

#11 posted 09-24-2010 08:23 PM

That was a nice story Charlie!

It feels good when you confess. You should sleep well tonight. LOL

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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2475 posts in 3068 days

#12 posted 09-24-2010 08:23 PM

Well Said, Can’t we all just get along!!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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2786 posts in 3000 days

#13 posted 09-24-2010 08:35 PM

Sister Agnes, wearing her cardboard flack jacket to protect her from flung paper, just smiled and mumbled to the person next to her that “Charles turned out to be a good kid after all.”

-- Galootish log blog,

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53 posts in 3078 days

#14 posted 09-24-2010 08:38 PM

I like your projects but I bet the drawings are real ugly…

-- "Every hundred years, all new people"

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Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3222 days

#15 posted 09-24-2010 08:43 PM

Charlie, You just need to eat some more hot crawfish, taters, and corn on the cob….. That good Cajun food will help you get over your nightmares from the past… I could eat some of that right now, or a plate of good Mexican food….. I love both….with a big glass of tea..

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

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31407 posts in 2894 days

#16 posted 09-24-2010 08:53 PM

Oh, Charlie, so you were a hard case in school just like me, Haagh! :) That was soooooooooooo many years ago but I still remember. :)

Here’s my take on the criticism thing.

There are all kinds of people here on Lumberjocks and they come from all kinds of places, have different races, religions, creeds, customs, belong to different organizations, differ politically, have different educational backgrounds, and on, and on, and on. Many of the ones from different countries do not speak English well. We have all sorts of age groups from youngsters all the way through elderly seniors, maybe even some who are handy capped in certain ways. Because of many of these things someone can misinterpret something that you say and can take offense easily. When you are being critical the language that you are using has a more negative tone than if you were giving them a positive word of praise. Why not just give the word of praise in most cases.

Here’s another point. Do we have any idea how many skill levels are on Lumberjocks? We know that we have absolute beginners all the way up to people that build magnificent furniture and art like Dilos. So we have many different skill levels. What this means is that somebody may be at a certain level and are really good when compared to the people in that group but their projects may not look at all good when they are compared with a group that is at a higher level. So say someone is at a lower level and has really worked hard and struggled on a project and builds a project and it is the best that they ever did; but it is still in their level and not as good as some of the higher skill levels. Do we pull out the criticism or do we pull out the praise? Which will encourage them more? We can’t possibly know what skill level everybody here operates at. At a woodworking festival or club they may perhaps have different skill groups to handle these sorts of things when judging people’s displayed works. I say that it is better to praise than to criticize because of these things.

Finally, when you are talking to someone in person and are criticizing them you can look them in the eyes and have a smile and a kind encouraging expression on your face. You can put your hand on their shoulder or their back as you’re talking to them in a kind way or hold their hand while you are criticizing them. You can place certain tones in the sound of your voice that makes them understand that your criticism is being done in a kind way so that they can improve. You can do none of these things on an internet site when you are criticizing someone. All someone sees is a bunch of printed words. Some people are skilled at words and some are not. Some people can try to convey some of these things in their printed words. Many others simply do not have the skill to do this type thing with words. Furthermore, when you criticize someone on a site like this then by it’s very nature it is a public criticism whereas when you criticize in person it is often private and between the two of you. I say that it is better to praise than to criticize because of these things.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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10880 posts in 3143 days

#17 posted 09-24-2010 09:05 PM

Charlie maybee you have right in your story and thanks for sharing

but I think even some bad critic or helpfull and ofcourse the kind applouse on the shuolder is something everyone can understand and take it as they want
but the worst kind of critic I ever had seen in my life

was in a 2 grade class that have some kind of an artthingclass or what ever the name in english is

a very skilled artist had been asked to come and make coments on what the different gruops
make , they were 3-4 in every gruop and the only coment i make every single time he had looked
at a thing was ” hmmm——hmmm——hmmm” and then he walked a way from the classroom
you shuold have seen those faces on the children developing the next few hours

it did take the art teacher , parrents and the other teachers over two month to get the childrens
willingness /be able to to learn new things and believing that they cuold learn and express them self
both thrugh word/math and by hand back in there heads and not feeling unsecure

those five minuts of hmmm totely destroyed a hole class and over 1½ years of teachers work

take care

View Flemming's profile


417 posts in 2924 days

#18 posted 09-24-2010 09:13 PM

here here charlie!! well put my friend!
i always welcome critique as well.. and ironic that i find criticism difficult to give because i’m not one to judge… but how can i expect criticism of my work if i dont give any?
hmmmm… you’ve stumbled on a philosophical question i’ll leave to someone else to figure out, hahah.

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3117 days

#19 posted 09-24-2010 09:15 PM

I agree, and I do not understand why people are so afraid of getting critics, I think it’s wonderful with critics.
I have learned that it is important to say ‘I think you dovetails are not closed enough, but they are fine for a first try’, instead of saying ‘your dovetails stinks’, that makes life better and the receiver open for the critics, even perhaps we mean the same.
When it comes to kinder garden, I was send to the headmasters office also, do not remember if my parents was involved. It was this wonderful girl Lene, she had two favorite boys, and I was one of them, so of course we competed a lot. and one day Lene said ‘ok, I’ll choose one of you, if you stand up on the bench and show me your penis’, and even I have never been competitive by nature, this I could not resist, to become the boyfriend of Lene if only! Wauu. So we stood up there on the bench and pulled down our panties in front of her and she was really happy for the view. But then we heard a scream, and as you know it’s not easy to run with the pants down, so we just stood there in a coma while Lene ran away. The scream came from the nun (mother something it was a catholic kinder garden), and she was not at all as Lene for what she could see, so we were both send to the gym, to sit there and be ashamed of our self’s. The worst part is that I remember this, but I don’t remember if Lene ever choose a boyfriend!
So perhaps your story taught you not to show your drawings, and to give an honest critic. But I learned nothing, I kept showing my….. to my girlfriends, and I became an Architect!
Best of thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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11730 posts in 3117 days

#20 posted 09-24-2010 09:23 PM

Ohhh yes, I learned to draw!

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#21 posted 09-24-2010 09:31 PM

Mads, you topped my story by a mile. LOL!

What I wrote was not meant to tell anyone else what they should do as far as critiquing posted projects. I truly believe in everyone’s right to decide that for themselves, and comment as they see fit.

My point was really to explain why I personally believe in giving encouraging remarks, and don’t usually offer criticism unless specifically asked for by the poster.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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2630 posts in 2911 days

#22 posted 09-24-2010 09:33 PM

well said Charlie. I know that my projects don’t compare with the majority of the others posted here; I know very well that my work needs improvement, but I appreciate the encouragement; my own desire to better my work will drive me to do better work, not the comments of others.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#23 posted 09-24-2010 09:35 PM

Jorge, I very much appreciate the spirit of what you are saying. In theory, at least, I agree with you.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Cher's profile


954 posts in 3121 days

#24 posted 09-24-2010 10:02 PM

Hi Charlie, thank you for the story, I wish you had kicked her on the shin instead. I started school in the convent as a border, I had a Sister Bernadette in grade 1 and 2 and the old bitch wasn’t shy with the dell stick.
It is hurtful to criticise some one’s work, if they were brave enough to show it here, they deserve encouragement and a kind word.

Thank you for the post Charlie, you are a fine gentleman.

Mafe your story is hilarious

-- When you know better you do better.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2968 days

#25 posted 09-24-2010 10:20 PM

Charlie, you have a very good memory! Then, I guess it had such an impact on you that it got burned into your brain!

You spoke well sir. “Encouraging remarks” is what this is all about in my opinion.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3117 days

#26 posted 09-24-2010 10:33 PM

And just for the record:
Charlie – I think you made a fine post and I really think you should go on posting!
I love your words always,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2954 days

#27 posted 09-24-2010 10:46 PM

Charlie and Mafe, you made my day. I laughed out loud when reading your stories… :)

Only had one experience with a nun, she taught French language in our school. Couldn’t understand her, and couldn’t figure out why we had to learn French when I didn’t know anybody who spoke or understood it.

Lots of criticism from her is all I remember.

Had to take four years of it in elementary, don’t remember any of it.

I figure out more French words from the writing on the peanut butter jars… :)

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3750 days

#28 posted 09-24-2010 10:54 PM

A heartful story and good advice. Although I am one who is guilty of giving a crtique, maybe more often than desired, I do try to not offend the creator by adding my 2 cents. I feel that a little guidance to a superior design will help them grow in their creativity and not just accept a finished project as something that can not be rethought. Not to say the end product is not good, but one can always consider other options. As, isn’t this part of the creative process, to keep on creating with new ideas and insight?

I do appreciate the need to be subtle and courteous in this approach as it’s not easy to be told that your “masterpiece” is not quite 100% perfect. Sometimes a Personal Message (PM) to the creator is the best way to suggest options you feel you wish to share, as this will not embarras them (or you) of the comments that all can read.

If I have given any hurtful comments, I do appologize and if you wish to give my work a critique, well, that is fine, and encouraged, as I would rather have to swallow my pride and take some advice or suggestions than to be patted on the head and given only praise when my work is not worthy of said praise. Chances are I would agree with the comment and maybe I haven’t thought of it myself, so the news would indeed be enlightening.

If you can’t improve on your work and ideas, then you may as well just roll over and die. But meanwhile I for one intend on continuing my march of creativity and improving my work.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View JoeCool's profile


83 posts in 3459 days

#29 posted 09-24-2010 11:07 PM

Wow, I really enjoyed reading your comment. Thanks Charlie.

-- Joe Cool

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3202 days

#30 posted 09-24-2010 11:08 PM

I wanna’ add one more thing …..

For those who haven’t figured it out, yet … MUCH of (the very little that) I know about woodworking … I’ve LEARNED from y’all—often in response to things I’ve done “wrong” IN my posted projects.

I’m very grateful for that, and would be grateful for that sort of constructive criticism, in the future, too !

There’s an old saying:

“A wise man can learn from a fool, but a fool cannot learn from a wise man.”

I love to learn, and … as I get older … realize just how darned much I have TO learn !

I’m very grateful for those who have been so generous with their knowledge, help, and constructive feedback.

-- -- Neil

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7234 posts in 3382 days

#31 posted 09-24-2010 11:12 PM

Well I am now starting my day off a little differently than usual , that is for sure…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

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Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3314 days

#32 posted 09-24-2010 11:47 PM

Unfortunatley, since I was the perfect child in kindergarten and never had to be reprimanded, I have no amazing, touching stories to share, but thanks mafe and Charlie!

Charlie, We should expect someone as old as you to also be wise LOL, but you constantly amaze me with your wisdom and the level headed way you approah things here on lumberjocks. I for one have seen so often how you diffuse potential negative situations with humor, as well as rational comments. Therefore, anytime you comment, I take it more seriously than some others. I thank you for the times you have calmed me down.

I too choose to not criticise, unless it is asked for. Then, I will certainly give my professional (but not necessarily right opinion on a project or method). If not for criticism, I would not be at the level I am today, but the only ones I tended to listen to were those who earned that right. I take offense when someone I barely know begins to slam my work just because they would have done it different, whether style or methods.

I receive PM’s, frquently asking me certain questions about how to do something. I enjoy answering those because the situation is more private, therefore less threatening. If I were a total amatuer who did something really subpar or stupid on a project, I might be embarrased to be ripped apart by a pro for not doing it right. On the other hand, the same one might be comfortable one on one receiveing the crtique. Early in my career, I worked next door to a fine craftsman who started out severly citicising my work. As I learned he was really trying to help, I finally began to accept it and then spent years seeking his advice.

All that said, there is cetainly a place to offer advice, and yes, even “critisim”. Simply respect the poster, and think long and hard about how you say it. Bottom line, there is no right or wrong answer to this subject, except maybe consideration and respect to others, no matter which camp you tend to be in.


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35125 posts in 4428 days

#33 posted 09-25-2010 12:01 AM

Charlie: It sounds like you’ve grown up a little over the years. You’ve also become very bright in your comments and concerns.

I appreciate your truthfullness in which every way it is bent.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3236 days

#34 posted 09-25-2010 12:18 AM

Good story, Charlie. Thanks for putting it out there and sharing your respectful and encouraging style. It makes you welcome everywhere. :)

I don’t see a need to be cruel or rude. EVER. It is especially uncalled for when someone is doing their best with what they have. I don’t understand why it is so difficult for some folks to extend a respectful and encouraging attitude in ALL areas of the LJ site. It is a shame to see the grudges, attacks, intolerance, name calling, and general ugliness that is being thrown around in some of the postings lately.

OTOH, I’ve gotten some great constructive criticism on my projects and a lot of help from my forum questions that have encouraged me and offered ways to improve my woodworking skills. I, like many others have learned so much through LJ-style kind tutoring. This is what makes this the best woodworking site around.

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3331 days

#35 posted 09-25-2010 12:31 AM

I’m blocking everyone including myself!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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12102 posts in 3783 days

#36 posted 09-25-2010 12:48 AM

Wow, Charlie and Mafe- if you guys were in school today- Charlie you would have been locked up for assault and Mafe would have to register as a sex offender! Ohh, how I long for the good old days when kids could be kids.

Anyway, Charlie, positive remarks, along with helpful suggestions are the best teaching tools. THanks for posting this.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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2656 posts in 3554 days

#37 posted 09-25-2010 04:05 AM

Sometimes its hard to try and do something one has never done before. It’s even harder to try again after failure but those that try and try again have already mastered the hardest part of a project, “trying”. I congratulate those that try no matter the outcome!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2942 days

#38 posted 09-25-2010 05:09 AM

Sorry Charlie but not everyone can be Chicken of the Sea.

While I, like everyone else, enjoys a well earned ata’ boy, I HATE honey dipped mutual ma_(gratification) that lacks sincerity/depth and/or knowledge/understanding of what was attempted and/or accomplished. I personally enter into hobbies with the intent of ”learning” something and find shallow ata’ boys often shine through for what they are in that they do little to motivate OR teach anything new. I have often left or migrated away from groups that degraded into these back slapping parties where NO real information is shared and ”actually learning something” becomes a lost art form.

That being said, I personally crave a critique that comments on a specific technique, methodology, or choice that was made, regardless of the hobby/pursuit. IMO, such a critique sharpens the mind by exposing one to alternatives in processes as well as choices made. But then again, that is just my opinion…

”mmh”’s suggestions seem appropriate for many cases but I would limit the use of PMs to the worst of the worst instances. But even then one should ask if the posted project was specifically an exercise in developing new skills, etc. I would rather be honest and apologize later than be dishonest and full of shinola (if you know what I mean).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3331 days

#39 posted 09-25-2010 05:20 AM

Atta boy Mike!

( just a dose of honey dipped bullsh*t for you)

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#40 posted 09-25-2010 05:48 AM

While I, like everyone else, enjoys a well earned ata’ boy, I HATE honey dipped mutual ma(gratification) that lacks sincerity/depth and/or knowledge/understanding of what was attempted and/or accomplished_

Well…. it all depends on the partner, Mike. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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1106 posts in 3002 days

#41 posted 09-25-2010 06:43 AM

I spend more time on this site because of the excellent demonstration of skills presented here and the positive feedback that I read to most postings…very few negatives with LJ’ers; haven’t seen a knock down drag out internet fight on here.
I have spent far less time in the last 6 months on my ‘professional’ site b/c of the attacking, clique driven and negative environment it contains….it is an argument a minute there.
Unfortunately it is so much easier to be negative and give criticism than encouragement..human nature and a part of my personality I want to change, especially to my kids.
Charlie, it wasn’t a nun, but my experience was in grade two and it was a comment to the rest of the class on how my hand writing looked like ‘chicken scratch’. Those negatives set into one’s psyche really deeply unfortunately and make you feel dumb for a long time.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

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Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3463 days

#42 posted 09-25-2010 06:56 AM

ATTABOY Charlie :-))))))

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4049 days

#43 posted 09-25-2010 01:34 PM

There are basically two kinds of posters:
One broad group enjoys sharing a project with others and accepts critique as part of the process.
The other group for what ever reason is “Trolling for Compliments”
Their work can range from near perfection to bite your tongue stuff.

Unless specifically asked I refrain from critiquing and only then if I feel I have something positive to offer.
I take no joy in making either group unhappy.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3423 days

#44 posted 09-25-2010 02:04 PM

In my experience as a teacher, I have tried to implement this rule.
When someone NEEDS advice about something that isn’t quite good enough, and when I know the student can do better (the second part is essential), first find the good parts to compliment, then, gently and helpfully, give the instruction on improving.
The reason is this. The student will not listen if he is given the impression that there’s nothing good about the work. There would HAVE to be something good!
“Charles, I like the way you hold your crayon”, might be a good start, and then, perhaps, “Here’s an idea, Charles. Don’t you think this apple would look better if the red color was all inside the lines?”
Criticism is SUPPOSED to help one see where improvement can be made, not to make a person feel bad about it.
So, if I give advice for improvement, I try to remember about complimenting the work first.
“My! That’s nice wood you used for this – er – um, – - what do you call it, Charles?”

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Berg's profile


116 posts in 3218 days

#45 posted 09-25-2010 02:06 PM

Bah! That Charlie still can’t color worth a dang! Hold out your hand!
Sister Agnes

-- Pete - "To every thing there is a season Turn! Turn! turn!" [Ecclesiastes and Pete Seeger]

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#46 posted 09-25-2010 03:18 PM

Don, you sound like a great teacher. I’ve always enjoyed your comments on the site.

Berg, I still can’t color and my penmanship is even worse!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2942 days

#47 posted 09-25-2010 03:33 PM

A well earned ata’ boy for Bob #2 for definitively identifying the difference between trolls and troopers! How true!

And another ata’ boy to Don for speaking the PC methodology of classroom education/motivation. I also have used and promoted his method for many years in the field. Very useful in situations where the student/teacher relationship is well defined and accepted by both parties. Not so useful though, between the Abbott and Costello types where antagonism is the norm. In those cases you, the teacher, needs the skill in offering either Abbott or Costello a can of altered shinola in such a way as to have them profusely thanking you for ”such a nice gift”. While every child can learn, not every adult chooses to. And to those adults, shinola works as well as anything I know.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View RandyMarine's profile


236 posts in 3397 days

#48 posted 09-25-2010 04:07 PM

Very well put. I myself am one that knows when I post something that it has room for improvement…usually lots of room…However, never have been taught woodworking, and doing everything from a book or online…I may have overlooked something or worse yet…had no clue to begin with.

That is why I always am willing to except critque. However, I think delivery is the most important part of the comments…My father once told me you could someone to eat a $h!t Sandwich if it is presented properly.

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 3201 days

#49 posted 09-25-2010 06:50 PM

i agree with you Charlie….....i am a strong advocate of constructive criticism…..........however…........tact and diplomacy are the key words in offering a critique… it good or bad!

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

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Tim Self

15 posts in 2833 days

#50 posted 09-25-2010 09:02 PM

I agree completely Don. If we start out with negative, the defense shield goes up and nothing is heard.

IMO, if you are pressure sensative, annotate you do not desire a critique. I believe the majority of us have room for improvement. Some of us have an overwhelming desire to point out some design flaw which would improve the work.

-- Tim

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