I learnt how to correct someone, without making them feel small, from asakiyume. I'd made a mistake (I can't remember what it was). Instead of pointing out my mistake in her reply comment, which she so easily could have, she sent me an email, *suggesting* that I might be mistaken, and giving the correction.
I learnt this valuable lesson from her, and now I follow the same practice. And whenever I am corrected in public, and made to feel small, I thank asakiyume. I try, when I correct someone, to say, "in my opinion" it may be x not y...or that *perhaps* its x not y... dictum sapienti sat est...a word to the wise is sufficient.
Prashanth said that when he was in college, one of his teachers made a statement that was wrong. He went later to the teachers' room and talked to her about it, couching his correction in respectful terms. She later announced to the class that she had been mistaken, and that he'd set her right. Later, when he was in danger of failing the subject she was teaching, having forgotten the same solution, she helped himm and...he just about passed the exam!
It's quick and easy to point out others' mistakes. However, with a little effort, one can do so and yet retain the goodwill of the relationship.
I know several people (and I am thinking of one particular individual!) who will never praise, but is quick to point out mistakes...always in public! The irritation I feel in being corrected like this is often difficult to swallow...so, A...thank you for the valuable lesson! And PC...at 22, I think it was awesome that you didn't use the correction as an opportunity to score off your teacher...that's real good-heartedness and maturity.