First let me say that he is a gifted singer and respected choral arranger and director. He leads a large chorus of barbershop quartet singers, dedicating a great deal of time and effort to their success. Recently, he attended a conference, the source of his anecdote.
Asked to sing before a group of his peers, he in turn listened to several of them. After the solo, each man was asked to share one thing he liked about his fellow performers’ offerings. Then each sang the same song again.
The claim my brother made – that everyone performed better the second time – really impressed him. In turn, I found it striking how he had to stifle his inner critic for the praise to get through.
He’s going to start encouraging his guys to positively critique one another, especially if those words accompany constructive criticism. This strategy is one I believe in one hundred percent in the writing world, and would like to enlist everyone’s help in spreading the positivity. As a side benefit, you’ll feel good for brightening someone’s day.
So jump on those forums and websites, twitter and face pages. Tell your favorite authors what you enjoyed about their story.