We’ve all heard of “constructive criticism.” That’s all well & good, but at VVM we try to go further, to something we call “lovingly critical.”
We assume that if we don’t understand why the mentee is doing something, there is a good reason. Instead of lecturing, we ask questions. The tone of our questions reflects the great respect we have for the mentee and all the work they have done.
- If the mentee is making a mistake, the questions we ask will help them realize it for themselves. It turns out people learn things much better when they figure it out for themselves vs listening to a lecture.
- If we were mistaken, asking questions lets us learn it without sticking our foots in our mouths :)! It also builds the mentee’s confidence by showing we are ready to learn from them.
A trick I use to get fully into this mindset is to remember all of the extremely gifted & successful people who told the Google founders that the world did not need another search engine :).