That hurt!

Yesterday, we looked at a wonderful model for anyone coaching or “managing” creative talent. It’s worth your time if you missed it.

Today, I want to help you, as the talent, get the most out of the feedback you receive from your coaches and managers.

No one tries to give a gift they know the recipient will hate. And no one tries to give honest feedback they know will crush your ego and creative spirit.

Understand that.

It’s important because it will help you lower natural defensiveness that comes from hearing any negative feedback.

You and your coach both have the same goal: the highest ratings possible. If you don’t trust your coach’s feedback, it’s probably time to move on. Otherwise, what you want is clarity about what worked and what didn’t, and why. You won’t hear that if you’re busy defending what you did.

One of the skills learned in couples therapy is “active listening.” You reflect back what you just heard your coach/partner say and make certain you heard what s/he said. It slows down the defensiveness and helps you focus on the specific part of your content your coach didn’t like.

You cannot deliver what your coach expects if you’re not certain what that is, so push for specifics, for examples until you are both clear about this.

Finally, ask solution-focused questions of your coach/manager. What would make this a break you would have loved? If I had said this rather than that, would that have been better?

Again, the more specific the question and answer, and the more disciplined you are about checking to be sure you’re hearing what your coach meant, the more likely you are to leave the session understanding what you need to do.

Remember: You both have the same goal — the highest ratings possible.

I hope this helps.