When criticism should be praise

I was reviewing a presentation today when I felt disturbed by the specifics of an example. The example was helping people look at the contents of a very large text file on a computer. At first glance the file appeared empty. That seemed like a bad example, why not have some contents to scroll through?

Then, I realized, at the start of each line was a line number. Each line of this 1000 line file was numbered. That’s a great way to visualize where one is at in the file. To know you are at the top, the bottom or in the middle.

I realized the line numbers are a fantastic learning tool and I changed my feedback from criticism to praise.

When you’re giving feedback, have you ever found yourself ready to give criticism and then flip to giving praise instead? Do you give yourself time to do a double take when something seems awry?