I recently had an experience where a participant in one of my training sessions came to me during a break and handed me a piece of paper with tic marks on it for each time I said “uh” during the session. Inside I was feeling defensive and couldn’t help but notice this person using “uh” as he was explaining this was a pet peeve for him and that he had gone to special training to to improve his public speaking. But the reality is, that each time a person finds fault and they tell you, it is a gift and an opportunity to become better.
Here are my 5 Steps to not get mad, but get better:
- Hear what the person is pointing out, not the tone or the presentation. When we get caught up in how someone says something, we are more likely to get defensive. Take a deep breath and choose not to get mad.
- Asses what they are saying for truth. Think about the content and find the truth in it. In my example, I presenting round-table and sitting with all the participants and had allowed my language to be more lax.
- Determine what you need to change to improve for the future. Outline steps you can take to make a change and improve your work, or in this case my delivery style. This particular thing was something I had addressed earlier in my career and recorded presentations so that I could hear myself and become more self-aware.
- Implement your improvement plan. Take action to resolve the issue or build up your skills and abilities.
- Evaluate the improvement. Always look back to see the improvement. Ideally, if the person who originally brought it up can give you another honest assessment, ask them. This makes sure that person knows you heard them and care about what they said and took action.
Growth and improvement is key to building our career and our self as a person and other people around us are our best source of information for areas where we can improve. The next time someone points something out to you, don’t get mad…GET BETTER!