Feedback and criticism can often be mistaken for the same thing depending on the culture we are engaged. This is a short story from my book Woman Act Now where I learned how to practice receiving criticism. It was painful but a teachable moment. Let me know your story of how you learned to recieve feedback or criticism?
Welcome, brilliant one!
As Coach Anna, I'm here to share a part of my journey with you, a narrative that has profoundly shaped my understanding of feedback and personal growth. This story, one that I've held close and discussed in my book, "Woman Act Now," is not just a recollection of events; it's a lesson in empathy, resilience, and the power of self-reflection.
My transition from a high-octane, assertive sales environment to a world where emotional intelligence and relationships were paramount marked a significant turning point in my life. It was in this new, more reflective setting that I encountered one of the most challenging moments of my career.
Picture this: a roundtable, colleagues encircling, and me, the subject of a feedback session that I was not permitted to speak during. Each team member's perspective on me was a mirror that seemed to distort my reflection. "They don't know me," became the silent mantra that I clung to as each unfamiliar description was laid before me.
All I was allowed was a simple "thank you" in response, a phrase that felt inadequate against the tide of misperception.
The true test came when the room cleared, leaving me with my thoughts, the presence of my boss, and the empathetic embrace of his wife. Vulnerable yet introspective, I faced the question of how I felt about the comments. The words "they don't know me" tumbled out, a mix of defiance and a plea for understanding. The tears that followed were not just of sorrow but of realization—the realization of the weight that others' words and perceptions can carry.
This experience taught me a pivotal lesson about the essence of feedback. It's not just about the words spoken to us; it's about the reflection they offer and how we choose to interpret and act upon them.
While I couldn't control the perceptions of others, I recognized the power I had to understand, adapt, and perhaps even reshape those perceptions through my actions and responses.
As I navigated this new terrain, I learned to balance my inherent assertiveness with the newfound understanding of empathy and connection. This wasn't about losing myself to fit a mold; it was about expanding my horizon, embracing every facet of my personality, and finding harmony within this diverse spectrum.
Through sharing this story, I extend to you, my readers, an invitation.
It's an invitation to see every piece of feedback not as a judgment but as a lens through which we can view ourselves differently, understand more deeply, and grow more profoundly.
As you join me in turning the pages of "Woman Act Now," remember that every critique, every uncomfortable moment, is a step toward a more empathetic, more resilient, and wiser you. Here's to embracing feedback, to learning from it, and to allowing it to guide us on our journey to self-discovery and personal excellence.