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Valuing Criticism
October 3, 2023
Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean.
- Dag Hammarskjold, 1905-1961, Swedish diplomat who served as Secretary General of the United Nations

In the Exchange magazine article, “Journeys in Leadership: Helping the Early Childhood Workforce Thrive,” Nancy Rosenow interviewed early childhood leader and consultant, Monica Duncan. The two talked of many subjects, including what Monica has learned over the years about effectively working with people, including the value of listening to criticism. Monica explained:

“I have benefitted so much from being open to critics. Sometimes their criticism came to me with soft filters, but sometimes it came completely unfiltered. At times like that I had to tell myself that their criticism was a gift to me. It provided information and insight on how I could do things better. It taught me to be able to listen without being defensive. I had to go into those situations with integrity and authenticity.”

In addition to valuing criticism, Monica also believes that cultivating good relationships involves:

  • humility
  • openness
  • a collaborative temperament
  • being a great listener.

Monica’s enthusiasm for her work is evident throughout the article. She explained, “Once you enter the world of early childhood education, you cannot help but fall in love. I came to love the people, the mission and the passion of the work.” 


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Comments (3)

Displaying All 3 Comments
Kirsten Haugen · October 06, 2023
Eugene, OR, United States

This sounds wonderful, Karen. Keep us posted!

Nancy Rosenow · October 04, 2023
United States

Karen, thank you for sharing this great information. I am eager to learn more.

Karen Foster-Jorgensen · October 04, 2023
United States

Well said Monica and Nancy! Creators enjoy a constant flow of ideas and it can be challenging when others point out the potential pitfalls for implementing those ideas. This is the exact point for us to appreciate our Refiner friends who take the time to dig further into the details than Creators might naturally want to do! As Monica points out, this is a gift! What better gift than to help us identify the pitfalls early on and build in the time to develop new solutions BEFORE we launch ahead with implementation!

The new innovation tool that Allen Fahden (Creator extraordinaire. author, marketing guru) and I are developing specifically for the early education industry helps organizations identify the natural work styles of their team members and enable the right people to work on the right parts of a project at the right time to best use their gifts. Through getting to know each of our team member' work styles and organizing tasks around what people do best, we increase job satisfaction and build joy in our workplaces, greatly contributing to staff retention in our organizations. When we practice listening to the "critics" and see their contribution to the creative process as positive refinement, our team problem solving process is significantly enhanced!

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