If I could change one thing…

I’ve always tried to understand why feedback in Radio feels so much more personal than, say, feedback in theater, or in music.

Part of it is probably that many of us who give feedback aren’t that good at it. We use language that personalizes the critique, that leads to defensiveness.

Surely part of it is that you work without a script and without objective absolutes so the feedback is, in fact, more personal. If a singer misses a note, it’s obvious. It’s not so much about her voice or her ear because she knows she missed the note as much as you do.

As PPM creates ever more pressure on air talent for brevity, each break is potentially critical and many programmers find it easier to shut talent up than risk tune-out. Even if that means giving up any chance for real connection, for greatness.

And, as jobs have been eliminated and thousands have been laid off, the worst effect is that many, perhaps most of those given pink slips end up doubting themselves.

Doubt is the antithesis of creativity.

You cannot entertain without self-confidence. You cannot even move on to new things, potential new careers, if you’ve lost all belief in your own ability.

If you are a programmer, please know that your feedback has the potential to kill confidence.

If you are an air talent, know the difference between your performance in a hyper-critical age of over-worked, stressed-out programmers, and your ability, your innate talent.

Fight doubt.

You can hear the feedback. You can even need the feedback. But don’t let it shake your belief in yourself, because long after radio is no longer a part of your daily life, you will need that to face the challenges life brings.