Here’s a story that reminds me that simple encouragement can have a more dramatic effect on performance than criticism.
Decades ago there was a group of brilliant young men at the University of Wisconsin who had amazing literary talent. They were would-be poets, novelists, and essayists. These promising young men met regularly to read and critique each other’s work.
The men were merciless with one another. They dissected the minutest literary expression. They were heartless, tough, and mean in their criticism. Members of this exclusive club called themselves the “Stranglers.”