How do you tell someone they did a bad job?

Recently I went to a contradance where I really didn’t like the caller’s style. She exuded a sense of stress that I think made it much harder for the many beginners to learn. She made contradancing seem hard rather than fun. There were also many specific things she said that seemed more controlling than I felt comfortable with. I ended up never talking to her about it, because I couldn’t come up with a friendly, non-hurtful way to say it.

So how about it? How do you inform someone that you think they’re doing a bad job without offending them?

One thought on “How do you tell someone they did a bad job?

  1. I think you don’t, really. There have been lots of times when I’ve felt the urge to inform someone that there REALLY is room for improvement in their work, especially in the theatrical/education world, and it’s been hard for me to hold my tongue. But I think that in the end, unless it was something you had control over or were sharing with them, it’s really just none of our business. Let someone with authority over them give them a talk if they need to — we have our own shortcomings to work through : )

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