Are You’re To Critical?

I’m betting there are a whole lot of people who, even if they are reading this sentence, are only paying partial attention to it.


They are only partially focused on it because they can’t get past the poor spelling in the title. The two mistakes in the title have tainted the entire post for them. Some people won’t read the post at all because of the grammar issues. They assume that there is little to learn from anyone who uses “you’re” where “your” should have been used. Using “to” in place of “too” likely sent them over the edge. 


Thank you to those of you who have hung around long enough to give me a chance to explain. 


The “mistakes” in the title are not really mistakes. I used those words to make a point. The point is that when we are too critical of other people we lose the opportunity to learn from them.


The most open minded successful people look past imperfections and use what they can to learn from everyone they meet. They realize that just because someone may misuse a word here and there or misspell a word now and then it doesn’t mean that everything they say or write should be dismissed. 


No one is perfect, no one knows everything and everyone makes mistakes. It doesn’t mean that they are not knowledgeable or that their opinion is less valuable than anyone else’s. 


The most successful people and the most effective leaders know that everyone knows something that they don’t. That means they can learn from anyone and that’s exactly what they do. 


Every viewpoint and opposing opinion teaches you something if you can keep an open mind. In fact, you’ll learn more from people who think differently than you then you’ll ever learn from people who think just like you. 


Yes, typos, misspelled and misused words distract from the message. Using the wrong word in a presentation or a sentence lessens it’s impact but….. for a leader those are coaching opportunities, not a reason to dismiss the entire message. It most certainly does not diminish the value of the person making the mistake.  

Anybody can find fault with someone else, it takes a leader to see the strengths in everyone. If you’re focusing too much on the mistakes of others you’re also making it much harder to learn from what they do well. That is YOUR mistake and one that YOU should work on before you try eliminating the mistakes of others.

13 thoughts on “Are You’re To Critical?

  1. I do not disagree and was on to your tactic is seconds. lol

    I learned, fortunately, when I was much younger that one can learn from anyone. Any person can pass us lessons. Some with purpose. Others inadvertently. Some in both ways.

    And! One can never tell by mere appearances who will be who.

    I’ve known some hugely intelligent people who had little to offer. I’ve met homeless people who taught me valuable lessons.


  2. Bravo!!! When I saw the title I re-read it, paused, and then I said to myself, “ooh let’s see what juicy nuggets Steve is sharing today!” I KNEW you were sharing something awesome. Thanks Steve for the bold reminder!

    1. Thanks for hanging in there Natasha and reading the complete post. From the comments on my Twitter feed it was obvious that many many people didn’t. They proved my point and sadly for them they didn’t even know it.

      1. Steve, with the advancements in technology, we’ve sadly become lazier and unfortunately our microwave mindset has left many of us less inclined to read anything that encourages exploration, challenges us, or makes us see things differently (through our efforts). We’ve grown to be trigger finger fast at retweeting and reposting, and slow as molasses when it comes to actually reading, processing and digesting information. There’s a great number of us walking around as zombies and don’t know it. So your brilliant post was read by those of us who still feel the pull of curiosity and exploration; we still have questions that need answers—so we will click on the improperly written title to get those answers! We’re not all zombies Steve. We’re not all zombies!

      2. 🙂 There were certainly MANY people who couldn’t… or wouldn’t get past the title. It is good to know that there is still hope!

  3. I apologize for not reading the post before I tweeted at you. It was late at night — early morning in fact — and I didn’t even notice the link until you replied. I actually agree with the point you made here. I have many friends who don’t speak English as a first language. I am also a very active member on myLot, which has an international membership. Many members there are learning English and make many mistakes in their discussions. Others are native English speakers who never learned to write or speak standard English. Some of those even blog and I read their blogs because these friends have knowledge and skills that I don’t have.

    I learn from all of them and even admire some of them for their accomplishments in their chosen fields, but I still can’t help cringing inside when I see some of the errors from native speakers. I do not point out their mistakes to them, even though I know they might have a larger audience it they didn’t make them. Old habits, especially speech patterns one learns as a child, die hard. Their blog topics are non-academic and the meaning of what they post is clear, so I don’t think their targeted audience cares about or even notices the mistakes the way I do.

    I commented on your Tweet because I knew the usage was the point of it and the errors intentional. I was just too sleepy to notice the link attached. As to making mistakes, I’m the queen of typos. Sometimes I can’t believe what my fingers and auto correct programs have written in my name when I proofread. Sometimes I still don’t catch all the errors — especially when I’m tired. That’s why I would never correct anyone for errors except in cases like this when I know the errors are deliberate. I was hoping you’d see my tongue was in my cheek when I replied to you.

    1. No worries and thank you for a very thoughtful comment. Many people were “caught” by the title but few of those folks went back to read the post and offer great insight like you.

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