The Prodigal Altar Boy

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Criticism – More Like Simon Cowell - THE PRODIGAL ALTAR BOY BLOG


Karen Everett Inner Circle Work:
  • Module #6 “Editing the Character-Driven Documentary” – Navigating Post-Production and the Director/Editor Collaboration

Music Practice:
  • Stratocaster warm-ups
  • Inversion Excursion work (C Major)
  • E-C#/D#-C#min-A work
  • Cmin7-Gmin7-F work

Body Work:
  • Active rest

Criticism – More Like Simon Cowell
Jeff Elkins’ blog today was about criticism.  He makes excellent points about effective criticism, which include:
1)      Before they start, they make sure I understand they are on my side, they are trying to help me clean up the mess I don't realize I'm sitting in.
2)      Into the "these things need to change..." comments they intersperse "I loved this..." comments. 
3)      They take the time to understand before telling me why I'm wrong.
4)      Their criticism is focused and productive.

As good as these guidelines for effective criticism are, such criticism is often a rarity in reality.  When I had my first consultation with Karen Everett last month, my biggest fear was what her criticisms of the assembly cut would be.  Karen spent a lot of time telling me what she liked and what she thought I did correct, before pointing out the weaknesses of the cut.  She spent even more time reassuring me she wanted me to succeed.  Instead of being discouraged, I came out of the consultation more eager to continue work on the documentary.  The consultation was a major driver in me making the sacrifice to join her latest Inner Circle. 

I compare Karen’s feedback with feedback I once got from a pastor I worked for as Worship Leader.   In the course of a meeting, this pastor brought up the issue of people who wanted to be on the worship team, but whose skills were lacking.  In the case of one particular person, I offered to work with that person to see if we could get his singing skills up to par.  The pastor replied, “See, that’s your problem, Calvin, you’re like Randy Jackson, when you need to be more like Simon Cowell.”  The remarks hurt and bewildered me.  Here was a pastor advocating humiliating people.  Less than a year later, I stepped down as Worship Leader.  Less than a year after that, we left that church and started attending Grace City.  I have never looked back.