Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fault finding: smoke screen

Note: The following is an opinion derived from observation and experience. Some contents that are not in tune of any organizational or management materials are expected.

Having a faultfinder or critic (be it ardent or passive) is inevitable. However, human nature as we are, we get annoyed. Especially if you had a bad morning back home, you confront the critic head on, like an assailant striking the victim to the jugular veins.

Now, we’ll not deal with the symptoms. We’ll deal with the attitude. In the Christian world, we call this critical spirits. In organizations and companies, we call them simply as critics. Actually, being a critic is not from without; it’s from within. They will usually say that they’ll not react when they don’t see anything. That statement alone indicates that faultfinding is not mainly external, but it is mainly internal. Yes, a rebuke one way or another is normal. However, one symptom that the person is just purely critical and not concern on your welfare is this: after you’re rebuked or corrected or criticized, you are left isolated, feeling so guilty. If the criticism is focused more of the doer rather than the deeds, it’s also an indication.

How to deal with this kind of attitude? As you read this paragraph, maybe you have an idea what I’m trying to say. One thing that we can notice with most, if not all, faultfinders and ardent critics is that they have problems either back home or in the organization itself. It is their defense mechanism. I can’t forget this person who points out problems of his then organization. His attitude even goes out of the organization. It manifests even in our hangouts, snack places, etc. Eventually, a year after, we eventually found out that he has been dealing with demons himself, and is nowhere to be found until this day by the organization that he frequently criticizes. Maybe they use ardent faultfinding as form of smoke screen to cover what they’re truly doing. Maybe they use this as defense mechanism because back home, they have family problems. Maybe they’re battling personal demons. These cases are understandable. However, if you’re in an organization, these people should be dealt with. If you’re from Human Resource, talk to the member if his or her attitude is starting to be unharmonious with other members. If his or her attitude doesn’t affect the organization itself, ignore. Noticing the attitude gives dignity to the attitude itself. In my opinion, the prove-them-wrong attitude is not advisable. Instead, have a just-doing-my-job attitude. After all, if you truly did your job, you have proven them wrong. If they insist, remember, faultfinding is from within, not without. What if your ardent critics spill personal stuff? Rebuke objectively. One thing I have learned with faultfinders is this: things go back to them big time if they don’t stop.

This article was not written AGAINST CRITICS OR CRITICISMS THEMSELVES. After all, we can also use people’s criticisms for us to grow. Instead of treating them like stones that are about to hit you, treat it as stone that you can step on. Much better, we can treat them as a hollow block for us to build something with it. We often hear this on organizational leaders: if the criticisms are true and can be minimized, if not corrected, change for the better. If the criticisms are baseless, totally ignore it. If the criticisms are true but you’re in no position to change it, just ignore it; they don’t deserve your attention. If you’re criticized for your misunderstood, yet right decision, just move on and let time prove you right, without waiting for any immediate visible vindication. If these people prohibits your growth as a person by his, either Not only leaders, but those who really wanted to improve both as a person and as an organization member, must face criticisms with appropriate attitude possible.

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