Critique This

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'Snowy editorial' photo (c) 2009, John Hritz - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I’m part of this blogger community called Killer Tribes.  It’s a place created by my friend, Bryan Allain, where bloggers from all over the Internet world can come together and discuss the ins and outs of blogging and bounce ideas off of each other all in a safe atmosphere.  It’s really a cool place to hang out if you’re interested in blogging at all.

I’ve been a member for about a year now and so far twice we’ve done an anonymous critiquing project.  It’s fantastic.  We sign up if we want to be part of it.  Bryan sends out two blogs to each of us to critique according to some guidelines and type our emails to send back to Bryan.  Several days later, we get the critiques delivered to our email box.  We don’t know who critiqued our blog at all.

I love it.

Maybe I’m one of those weird people, but I like to know if I’m doing something wrong or something that’s just not working for someone.  Because as much as I hate to admit it, just because I think something is great, doesn’t mean it’s great.  And just because I can’t find anything good in something, doesn’t mean it’s not good. I like to know what I can do to make something I’m doing more enjoyable for more people.  I like to know if there is something that I’m doing that, if refined, could help make me an all-around better person.

But sometimes we really just don’t want to hear what we’re doing that’s not right.  Sometimes we don’t want to be told that we could be doing something better.  Sometimes we need to hear that something we’re doing just might not be good enough.

And that’s hard to swallow.

One thing about this anonymous critiquing is that Bryan tells us to make sure that whatever negative we say, just to make sure to “season the truth with some grace.”

I like to hear what I’m doing wrong because that means I can correct it and become a better person.  However, if the person that’s spreading the criticism doesn’t season their critique with some grace, it can be downright painful.  And I catch myself criticizing just to criticize.  It’s not to lift the person up.  It’s not happening in any way that will bring any good about.  Most of the time I’m doing it, I’m usually feeling bad about myself or just being a grouch.

So next time we start to critique someone or something, just take into account why we’re doing it.  Are we doing it to lift the other person up in order to help them become a better person, or are we doing it out of spite?  When someone says something to us that’s a little hard to swallow, are they saying it in love and seasoning it with grace, or are they just grouchy?

I’m so thankful to Bryan for coming up with this idea.  Every time I get the critiques back, I’m seeing my blog with fresh eyes.  I implement some changes, and they’re usually right.

And they’re always seasoned with grace.

Whatever you do, season it with grace.

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  • That is awesome!!! Do you need an invitation to join? (I’m interested)

    • Nope. Just go to killertribes.com and sign up. It’t $10/month, but worth it in my opinion. If there is an option, just tell them that I referred you!

  • I checked out the website. Can’t afford something like that now but I’ll keep it in mind :o)

    • He sometimes runs a free trial period if you would like to try it out sometime.