January 11, 2010

Love Story

Posted in Business, Life tagged , , , , , at 9:38 pm by lindaslongview

First, I have been married a LONG time (in a few more months, a wonderful 20 years LONG) so this will not be all gushy…

The setting was post-breakfast.  Everyone at the house was moving toward jobs and school (two teens, two parents).  I mention to my wonderful husband that I just got off the phone about a quote for some insurance that I thought we should consider.  His immediate response was to tell me that it was unnecessary and I shouldn’t spend any time on it.  I became upset because I thought I was doing something good for us and he was not being duly appreciative.

Even though we both hate to part mad at each other, there was no time to get everything back to better before we all had to depart (he was leaving for three days).

When I was done being upset, I wrote him a quick email with the following long view advice:  Support first, then Criticize.

I wrote:

  • I know that we both hate parting mad, so I apologize for not being able to get past my upset this morning.  I know that you mean well when you criticize my efforts.  I even value the criticisms, but not when I don’t feel supported.
  • I need from you:  Support first, then criticism. Okay?!

He writes back:

  • You beat me to the punch.  I was chomping at the bit all morning to get a moment to write you and say “sorry” for the bad parting this morning. Yes, you are right.  I meant to say and do exactly as you suggest – “good idea to investigate, let’s make sure we understand if it is really needed.”  Please accept my apology.

So I write back:

  • Apology accepted.

All better!  🙂

Are you supporting first and then criticizing (when needed)?

P.S.  Support first then criticize (if needed) applies to business too….


  1. Great story with a ton of high quality content and easy to follow.

  2. freshlittlehands said,

    wow, that is truly amazing. truly. 🙂

  3. willis said,

    Thank you for this reminder! (it is a little gushy, but in a good way)

  4. Brilliant idea! I can relate. My husband and I were always busy working. He is a nurse and I am a caricature artist at showboat entertainment. We barely talk about our feelings. Mostly, we talked about money, budgeting, the kids and their school. I guess I should email him and say what I feel. Thank you!

  5. Linda, I like the blog. Great name and idea to find the long view on both business and life. Support first, then criticism is a great summary of a principle that I find vital to happiness and being useful.

    I think of it as simply: Be positive and supportive above all. For me, running a small company with people of vastly different experiences and capabilities, I tend towards seeing the problems in approaches that people suggest first. I am constantly reigning in my instinct to be very efficient in cutting off ideas that I think are off-track and instead, supporting the effort people are making to help innovate. Also, often after a little reflection, other’s ideas seem to have more merit than I thought at first. So I keep disciplining myself with: Be positive and supportive above all.

    BTW – steve forwarded your email to be about the blogging course. Glad you liked it. As you put it, we try to “over-deliver”

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