The Only Way To Improve


Are you trying to improve, or are you pretty satisfied with where you are?

That’s not a rhetorical question.

If you’re an air talent, chances are your PD rarely sits down with you to “direct” your improvement. First, s/he doesn’t have time. Second, s/he probably doesn’t know how to “direct” you to improve.

Many of us have been raised with the belief that pointing out what’s wrong leads to improvement. We equate criticism with teaching or coaching.

If you check the actual definition of “criticism” it means, “the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on percevied faults or mistakes.”

Criticism is always judgmental. And nothing is more inhibiting to creativity than the fear of being judged negatively.

It is much more difficult to teach/coach by knowing what is good and consistently praising that.

First, you have to actually be able to hear and know what is good, what listeners are feeling at any given point. Second, you have to develop the discipline to reinforce only that which you want more of without one reference to that which you want no more of.

You may think its easy to know what is good, but I think it takes years of active listening and a deep sense of empathy to be able to accurately state, “That phrase was so lovely,” or “That mental image you created was so clear and fresh.”

The thing is, if you’re not actively trying to improve just about every day, chances are you’re becoming a bit predictable. You’re floating, static and unmoving, and that will eventually bore you as well as those who hear you. Ceaseless repetition, even when easy, and even to the lazy, isn’t all that fun.

I encourage you to seek improvement. I encourage using appreciation of what you do well, that no one else does, as the means to that improvement. And if I can help, in either case, call me.