The topic of constructive criticism has come up several times in discussions with other woodworkers over the past few months. I was thinking about tackling the subject in a more thorough manner, but I wanted to get an idea of how people in the woodworking community in general felt about it.
(Plus, I'm also working on writing shorter, more interactive, blogs and I thought a survey might be a good first step...)
Constructive criticism, as I see it, is defined as using your (limited or extensive) knowledge gleaned from life experience, structured learning, or books to offer advice to another as to how they can improve upon something they've done. When providing this service to another, I think the focus should be on the word, "constructive." Nobody wants to hear you say their work is crap, but they might be open to suggestions as to where they could apply themselves a bit more in the future.
So what are your thoughts on the subject? When you present a project to others, be it family or friends or other woodworkers, do you want to only hear the good? Are you completely satisfied with where your woodworking skills are and do not feel any desire to improve them? Or would you be interested in hearing what might be improved as long as it is balanced with some positive comments? Or are you completely comfortable with someone else offering advice on improving your work?
If you would go to the home page of my blog and take 10 seconds to fill out the brief survey, I would most assuredly appreciate it!