It is easy to criticize.

From time to time, the people in our office plan a group lunch. In the past, everyone would sign up to bring something to share. Some people signed up to bring a homemade dish. They take the time to make a salad or dessert. Most people stop by the store because they get no joy in making or baking things to eat.

So the most recent lunch party, I put a stop to signing up. I told people if they wanted to bring something to share, thank you, but we only needed one of us to head to the store the night before.

It’s a lean thing. I can’t be preaching lean all day long and then setting up parties in a way that creates wasted motion, over-processing, and over-production.

Afterward, one of our coworkers said they got nervous because when she chose to bring (buy) chips, people would criticize her choices. The feelings come from the fact once a coworker provided two types of chips, Cool Ranch Doritos and Sun Chips. He still hasn’t heard the end of it. The criticism of sun chips is understandable. The lack of love for Cool Ranch is crazy beans. Either way, it is time to move on from the issue.

I told the coworker don’t worry. The person who shopped for today’s chip selection has the self-esteem to understand if you buy three different types of chips and someone can’t appreciate one or more of the favors; it’s the eater’s problem, not the chip buyers’ issue.

It is easy to criticize.

We also recently had a past coworker go online at and give us a bad review. They said they worked for two years at Willmar Electric and thought we were a terrible company. We are unsure why they stuck around a bad company for two years in today’s economy—also, not surprised that an unhappy person who is prone to complain ended up at looking for a job again at

It is easy to criticize. (Notice how easy it was for me to criticize someone for criticizing us.)

We recently also had a coworker take to Facebook to talk about how great a place Willmar Electric is to work at and how much they love their coworker. Several people chimed in to agree.

Once people are encouraged to be friendly, it gets contagious.

I think Willmar Electric is a great place full of people making a difference for people. A place where coworkers help each other out and treat each with love and respect. Unfortunately, the one Indeed reviewer will drive our rating and make our score look low.

I encourage you to go to or and type in the name of the company you want to review your current and previous employers.  If you liked them, let the world know. If you didn’t (or don’t) like them, let the world know.

On the topic of criticism in general, I go back to repeating it is easy to criticize. I encourage you to find ways to build up rather than tear down. I read and listen to a lot of Managers Tools information. Their model says you shouldn’t give feedback for at least three months. Once the three months are up and you have built enough trust with the person, they will be comfortable that you care enough about them that your criticism (feedback) is genuine. You don’t need to offer the feedback in what is often called the compliment sandwich of saying something nice, giving them the negative piece, and closing with another nice comment. People can see through this; the next time you offer a compliment, they will brace for the negative.

It is easy to criticize, so be careful when you do it. The results might stay around a while, perhaps forever.