Monday, April 11, 2011

Opinion: Embrace your whiners

I am a liberal, a democrat and a union steward.
So, you can imagine; I have been called a whiner many, many times. I consider it a compliment. That's a big reason I blog. Blogs can be great places to whine.
Many people are afraid of confrontation. They will remain silent even when they see problems. In my opinion a strong organization is one that confronts problems. But, how does an organization know it has a problem? It embraces its whiners.
The whiners are your canaries in the coal mine, your first line of alert. So, if you call me a whiner don't be surprised if I say, why thank you.
Organizations who recognize the value of whiners and provide them with a venue; have a lot to gain. Those who don't, risk finding much harsher critics; their customers.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Opinion: Criticism is good

In my opinion no matter what kind of organization it is, a bike club or a nation, criticism is a good thing; it means people care. Care should to be taken by critics to criticize the process, not the person. Critics and leaders should try to check their egos at the door. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and are entitled to voice their opinion. Critics and leaders are advised to not imply malice without very, very strong evidence. Leaders in an organization that is the subject of criticism should not take criticism personal. It is not personal and it does not mean your efforts are not appreciated. All criticism means is that somebody thinks something should be different. Hey, the critic may be wrong! But, at least give the idea some consideration. At least the critic cares enough to voice an opinion. That is a good thing. Sometimes, I know rarely, it is possible the critic may be right. A little thick skin is recommended for all involved. Today's critic may be tomorrows leader, or not.