Feedback: Joy and Pain


I am a member of a morning networking group and  we meet every Friday morning. It’s awesome. Not many people would say that about waking up early in the morning but I am a real morning person.

Recently a member of the group took me aside and let me know that although the group loved my energy, they really weren’t clear on what the heck I did. This was stellar information but I also must admit I felt like an idiot. Here I thought I was explaining what I do and it was just not coming across. I take full responsibility for that. And, I’m so glad I was told because if they are not clear, they can’t refer me and it’s quite possible my potential clients haven’t the foggiest idea of what I do either.

Huh? What’d you say?
Have you ever had an experience where you were completely sure of what you were saying and then found out either someone completely didn’t understand or misunderstood what you meant? Leaving you to wonder how did they not understand you? It makes complete sense in your head but that’s apparently the only place. In case you are not sure, the way you tell if you have been unclear or your message has not been received is when you don’t get the results you expected.

And, it’s not limited to people in business. Miscommunication can happen anywhere in your relationships, home, work or even with yourself.

How do you handle feedback?
Rarely do people like to be told they are doing something wrong, even if they know they are doing something wrong. So, the next time you get feedback–positive or negative, always thank the person because chances are they really trying to help. (That’s so nice of them because they could continue to let you look stupid.) If you view their comment as negative, don’t get all defensive. Let the information marinate on your brain for a moment. Don’t view it as them attacking you, take from their comments what you can that will help you to improve and then throw out the rest. Don’t harp on it for too long or you will drive yourself crazy! (Been there, done that, not fun!)

And, if there is a miscommunication in a relationship (I know it’s so rare that would EVER happen to you, right?), ask for the person to tell you how they understood what you said. That way, you can clear up what they didn’t understand and move on instead of berating them for being such a dumb butt for not understanding you in the first place.

As for me, I’ve taken that comment, asked others their opinion and have gone back to the drawing board and will tell you more about that next week.

When was the last time you were misunderstood and what did you do about it?

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