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How To Get Accurate Positive Feedback

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MoStory   Posted By  Dr. MO  Some years ago a young painter completed a training program taught by a  famous artist. The youngster decided to do an experiment to assess his skills. His first step was to spend three days painting a beautiful outdoor forest scene. His second step was to display his finished painting on a busy corner in the small town where he lived.

He wanted people’s opinion about his creation, and wrote the following note which he affixed just below the painting which was left on an easel. “I have painted this piece. Since I’m new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes in my strokes etc. Please put a cross (an X) wherever you see a mistake.”

When he returned in the evening to get his painting he was completely shattered to see that whole canvass was filled with Xs (crosses) and some people had even written their comments on the painting. Disheartened and broken completely he ran to his master’s place and burst into tears. Sobbing and crying inconsolably he told his master about what happened and showed the pathetic state of his creation which was filled with marks everywhere.

The young artist was breathing heavily and the master heard him saying ”I’m useless and if this is what I have learned  I’m a failure. People have rejected me completely. I feel like dying”

The master put his arms around the youngster, smiled and said “My boy, I will show you that you are a fine artist and have learned well.” The young artist did not believe these words and said “I don’t believe you,  I don’t think I am good enough. Don’t make false hopes.”

“Please give yourself a chance and do what I ask . Then watch and you will see that what I am suggesting will work. Just re paint the scene and give it to me. Will you do that for your me?”,  the master said.

The youngster reluctantly agreed and two days later, early in the morning,  he gave a replica of his earlier painting to his master. The master took the painting, smiled and said, ”Come with me.”

They both walked back to the same busy corner and and set up the display again. This time the master wrote a different message which read “I have painted this piece. Since I’m new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes. I have put a box with colors and brushes just below. Please, if you see a mistake, kindly pick up the brush and correct it.”  The master and student left the painting along with the note and then walked back home.

That evening they both returned. The young painter was surprised to see that  there was not a single correction done from the day. However, the master wasn’t yet satisfied and he said to his student, “Perhaps one day is too short a time for people to come up with ideas and take  time out of their busy schedules to correct the painting so let’s keep it here for one more day. Tomorrow is Sunday, there will be many people, so we can expect some corrections.”

The next evening they visited again and once again found the painting unchanged, except for one thing…. attached to the bottom of the painting was a short note that read:

“This painting is beautiful. I love it just the way it is. Please drop into my flower shop just around the corner on the left so that we can discuss a price. I want to purchase it as a gift for my wife. I saw your first painting last week early in the day and was dismayed to see all the Xs on it. I’m so glad you chose to redo it. Those who put the Xs there show that it is much easier to criticize something, and much more difficult to improve it. When you asked for improvements no one invested that energy… and I am glad!”

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