Destructive Criticism

Tonight I attended a music competition at my daughter's school. We were truly blown away by the standard of all of the acts which had been organised, choreographed and written by the pupils themselves. Genuinely talented, nice kids lifting the spirit with their energy and commitment.

Then came the adjudication. One of the most inappropriate responses I have seen in years. Every comment on every item had to have the obligatory "could try harder" element which of course ended up being delivered with more relish than the rest of the feedback.

Goodness knows what motivated the woman but her behaviour struck me as a classic case of being given authority and assuming that that means keeping things in check and being in a position of knowing better - even if you don't. You can stack it up alongside the price of pomposity as one of those so, so damaging, and unnecessary, aspects of authority that we could well do without.