Feedback Is Another Mirror

The farther along you go in your career, the less feedback you get.

This makes sense: who wants to give the big boss notes on their performance? But this dynamic makes it even more essential to seek out knowledgeable coaching and guidance for yourself. 

We all have areas of our own performance that we don’t know how to adjust, are invisible to us, or we don’t know aren’t effective. I have a terrific and experienced colleague, a great presenter, who has developed an “um” habit over the last few years. I would bet anything that she has no idea she’s doing it. How can she fix it if she doesn’t know it exists? 

By the same token, I know that there are elements of my own presentation style that I need to address. For example, “right?” keeps slipping into my presentations, and it’s a useless filler word that can also sound condescending. I know the “right?” is happening, but what else is there that I’m not seeing? What haven’t I noticed? 

The only way we can address the holes in our performance is to have them made visible to us, like the hairdresser giving you a mirror to see the back of your hair. Staring straight ahead into the mirror we always use only gives us the view we already know.

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