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Issue 637 - Criticize the behavior not the person. (Jia Jiang and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 13 Issue 637
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


In his book Wooden on Leadership, with Steve Jamison, Coach comments on what he believed were the critical points regarding criticism:
"When difficulties arose and strong action—or words—were called for, I made it a policy to criticize in private, not in front of others. The rebuke was done without rancor. I was stern, but I did not get personal—no insults, no berating, no anger, no emotion. When the discussion or action was over, it was all over. We moved on to other business without lingering anger or animosity.
I also attempted to combine a compliment with criticism when possible. Most people don’t like criticism, even when it’s for their own good. An acknowledgment—praise—offered as part of the criticism reduces their resistance; for example: "I like your aggressiveness on defense. Can I see some of that when you drive to the basket? "A statement like this is a method of honestly offering a pat on the back while pointing out a problem and how to correct it. The results were usually productive."
In his book, "Rejection Proof," ( ), Jia Jung applies Coach Wooden’s ideas to rejecting a request:
"Rejection is usually a hard message. Delivering the message with the right attitude can go a long way to softening the blow. Never belittle the rejectee. Make it clear that you are rejecting their request—not rejecting them as a person. When you are rejecting something, you should be specific. Make sure the person knows what exactly you’re turning down and be honest about the reasons why."
Coach Wooden said: "The purpose of criticism is not to punish, embarrass, or ridicule, but to correct and improve." Are you able to do that?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



Pleasure’s Signs

There's a bump on his brow and a smear on his cheek
That is plainly the stain of his tears;
At his neck there's a glorious sun-painted streak,
The bronze of his happiest years.
Oh, he's battered and bruised at the end of the day,
But smiling before me he stands,
And somehow I like to behold him that way.
Yes, I like him with dirt on his hands.

Last evening he painfully limped up to me
His tale of adventure to tell;
He showed me a grime-covered cut on his knee,
And told me the place where he fell.
His clothing was stained to the color of clay,
And he looked to be nobody's lad,
But somehow I liked to behold him that way,
For it spoke of the fun that he'd had.

Let women-folk prate as they will of a boy
Who is heedless of knickers and shirt;
I hold that the badge of a young fellow's joy
Are cheeks that are covered with dirt.
So I look for him nightly to greet me that way,
His joys and misfortunes to tell,
For I know by the signs that he wears of his play
That the lad I'm so fond of is well.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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