ANST - Instruction was: To Dennis O' Connor

Mjccmc01 at Mjccmc01 at
Wed Aug 6 10:06:48 PDT 1997

Siobhan here.

At the risk of prolonging something that should probably end, allow me to
proffer a little instruction of my own:

On those occasions when I have undertaken to instruct someone who has not
requested that I do them such a favor, I have found the following techniques
most productive:

Privacy.  Even when a criticism is on point, it is easier to accept it
gracefully when it is not received publicly.

Expression of expertise.  Trying to strike a note of "I have found it helpful
in the past to..." as opposed to "let me gift you with my wisdom from on
high" yields better results.

Not Gloating.  Eagerly anticipating the grief your public "instruction" will
bring to someone is not gracious.  

When you assume that you are someone's "instructor," you have de facto
assumed that you have superior knowledge in some field.  When you assume such
a position, you assume some responsibilities.  One of them is _not_ having
"too much fun" by attempting to publicly humiliate someone.

Yes, I realize I have just assumed such a position by presuming to
"instruct."  I also did in "in public."  I pray that I have done so, good
friends, without damage to anyone's sensibilities.  If so, contact me
privately so that I may attempt amends.


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