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Valuing Criticism

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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