Word of the Day: kibitzer

Merriam-Webster says: one who looks on and often offers unwanted advice or comment

Call me a nerd, but I get MW’s Word of the Day in my email every day.  And it’s not because I want to expand my vocabulary to impress people (see my thought’s on that here).  It’s because being in the medical field I understand the meaning of words like “esophagogastroduodenoscopy” (which means they stuck a camera down your throat, through your stomach, and into the upper part of your small intestines to look for problems).  So, when I read for pleasure or self-improvement, I run across words like “oneiric” and my brain goes tilt.  (BTW, that word means dreamy or pertaining to dreams).

Most of the time, when read my Word of the Day, I think to myself “That’s cool! Let’s file that.”  But today, this word made me think “what a fun word to say ‘KIB-it-ser’, but what a harsh meaning.”  The good news is that this word didn’t bring anyone’s face immediately to mind.  The bad news is I asked myself “does anyone think of me this way?”  and I could think of at least one person that has.  I’m sure there’s more, they just haven’t told me they do.

So, here’s a few questions I have for you…

Are you a kibitzer?  Do you have people in your life that you allow to tell you if you are?

Do you have kibitzers on your team?  How do you deal with them?  Or do you deal with them at all?  How does your team respond to them?

Here’s some hints to start you out – if people are talking  and when you walk up, they stop or tell you not to worry about it (this can happen to you or you can observe this happening between your team member), you or someone is not included in meetings or discussions, or the attitude of team members towards you or another team member seems guarded or always defensive in meetings.

If you have any other signs or symptoms of being a kibitzer, please share them with me.  I’d also like to hear your thoughts on handling a kibitzer on a team or ideas on how to cure yourself of being a kibitzer.


2 comments on “Word of the Day: kibitzer

  1. kenhendrix24 says:

    I’m a kibitzer and proud of it. There is a huge difference in unwanted and unneeded advice. I don’t want to cure myself of being a kibitzer. In fact, I think a ton of my identity comes from it. That being said… I don’t want to forever just look on from the outside. At some point, you’ve gotta step in and show some things too. But if you don’t have kibitzer’s around you, you probably aren’t in a growing environment, and instead you’re just in a happy place hwere “agreement” always takes place!

    At least that’s my thoughts.

  2. cynhendrix says:

    Discerning between unwanted and unneeded advice/comments is an important skill for any kibitzer to be effective. As is being willing and able to step up and follow the advice you give if necessary. Those two things seem to determine whether the kibitzer on your team (whether yourself or someone else) is considered useful or useless. So, with a new point of view, here’s a follow-up question: How do you get a kibitzer on your team and how do you get the team to value them? And is it possible to have too many?

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