“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays
As a presenter about communication, leadership and trust, as well as a trainer/consultant for the Danielson Group, I am in front of people more than I ever would have dreamed I'd be when I was growing up. I love it all.
Well, just one little thing that is tough (besides delayed travel, airport food, and people who likely have the plague who are sitting in the seat next to me on the plane).....
My dear husband has often remarked that I could get evaluations from 100 people, 99 of them could say "This was great!" and I would obsess and focus on the 1 who didn't care for me or my presentation. He would be correct.
After presenting at a recent conference, I received a great deal of positive feedback ("this will help me talk to my teachers", "your passion and enthusiasm exude through everything you do", "I would love to have you come speak to our district staff", and "you inspire me to be a better educational leader" were some of my favorites). However, I also received feedback that was less than stellar (i.e. "It was uncomfortable to be sung to at the end of your presentation" and "It felt like she talked a lot about her book"). Ouch!
Dave, who is gut-level honest with me, says "Some people simply aren't comfortable with singing". He also asked, "Do you love what you do?" Without hesitation, I replied "I do!" He reminded me that presenting to people is pretty subjective---like performing, etc.---it's pretty subjective. People will either like it or not. Or, more likely, they'll like most of it but not care for something I say or do. Am I going to stop doing what I'm doing because someone doesn't care for it? Not likely. "But I can whine just a little bit and feel sorry for myself for a moment in time, right?" I asked Dave. "One moment then get to work" he replied.
In recent trainings I've done, I had someone say "Love the perfectly timed humor when you present" along with someone who said I spoke too quickly; someone who loved my dress and someone who didn't (yes, they told me that).
“A great man is always willing to be little.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
I guess I am going to pray, today, for the willingness to be little. It's not easy, but who ever said everything was going to be easy?
Just for today, are you willing to take the constructive criticism along with the good stuff? At the end of the day, I pray to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant"