(WARNING! Пост не развлекательный)There is a huge variety of ways to "offend an artist". Most creative people (and, yes, I still think that ELF teachers ARE the lot) are extremely sensitive to criticism and at times find themselves absolutely disarmed when it comes to blunt statements of those who are tactless and speak their mind without giving a careful thought to whatever they are going to lash out.
The problem with "the creative" is that the sour feeling of being piqued is further, and rather dramatically, agrravated by "the artist's realization that what he actually was aspiring to create was in fact for the appreciation and the good of the people. (Do I sound like a communist?, Let me assure you it's not the point here)
The above-said was in a way inspired by this article I came across the other day. So it encouraged me to borrow the tips and add some explanations to each principle if applied to the art of teaching humanities.
These helpful principles by Tim Ferriss are mostly about dealing with negativity online but, hell, if they are not applicable in real life!
1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.
If your objective is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people or to change the world in some small way (be it through a product or service), you only need to pick your first 1,000 fans — and carefully. “As long as you’re accomplishing your objectives, that 1,000 will lead to a cascading effect,” Ferriss explains. “The 10 million that don’t get it don’t matter.”
(FOR an EFL teacher this would mean) Pay utmost attention to the people who are interested in what you do. Ignore those who are not. Remember: If somebody doesn't want to take it from you, there's no way you can give it to them.
2. 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it.
“People are least productive in reactive mode,” Ferriss states, before explaining that if you are expecting resistance and attackers, you can choose your response in advance, as opposed to reacting inappropriately. This, Ferriss says, will only multiply the problem. By responding to all criticism, meaning you’re never going to find time to complete important milestones of your own.”
(FOR an EFL teacher this would mean) Take the rough with the smooth and don't expect people to take everything positively.
3. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” (Colin Powell)
“If you treat everyone the same and respond to everyone by apologizing or agreeing, you’re not going to be recognizing the best performers, and you’re not going to be improving the worst performers,” Ferriss says. “That guarantees you’ll get more behavior you don’t want and less you do.” That doesn’t mean never respond, Ferriss goes on to say, but be “tactical and strategic” when you do.
(FOR an EFL teacher this would mean) Don't overdo with agreeing and apologizing (which I used to tend to do a lot) to the learners. Still make sure each of then get their share of your attention.
4. “If you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative.” (Scott Boras)
(FOR an EFL teacher this means) Beware of your colleagues and don't get too close with them, too personal. They'll be the first to stab you in the back. Keep a bit aloof and spend more time developing yourself by reading people who write books. ;)
5. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” (Epictetus)
Ferriss says, 'In fact, I would take the quote a step further and encourage people to actively pursue being thought foolish and stupid.”
(FOR an EFL teacher this means) Learn to enjoy criticism. Make it constructive for yourself in case it's not. Be eccentric to a moderate extent. ;)
6. Keep calm and carry on.
The slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” was originally produced by the British government during the Second World War as a propaganda message to comfort people in the face of Nazi invasion. Ferriss takes the message and applies it to today’s world. “Focus on impact, not approval. If you believe you can change the world, which I hope you do, do what you believe is right and expect resistance and expect attackers,” Ferriss concludes.
(FOR an EFL teacher this means) “Keep calm and carry on!”
Do you have anything to add to the list, guys?