Monday, February 2, 2015

Advice: Try it on

So there I was after an hour long brief to my O-6.  I managed to answer all of the man's questions, including some rather complicated materials.  He was really happy, and I received lots of "Good brief!" comments afterwards.  Pretty elated, I finished logging off my computer when my boss (an O-5) came over to give me feedback.

Not all the feedback was good.  She wanted me to use some more language and omit some of the things I said.  My initial reaction was almost to roll my eyes (thankfully I did not!) and to almost dismiss it out of hand.  After all, in my mind I had just knocked it out of the park!  I was on top of my game!

Later that day, I realized how terribly rude that was.  My CDR was mentoring me, finding a way for me to improve that I hadn't thought of, and here I was dismissing it out of hand.  Conveniently, Seth Godin posted an applicable article:

I decided to take his advice of "Try it on."  After my next brief, instead of waiting, I went to my CDR and asked for feedback, wrote it down, and tried it out the next day.  Amazingly, although I stumbled a bit, after two briefs my speaking improved, I was more confident of my assessments and overall I got even more compliments afterwards.

Mentorship sometimes happens when we least expect it.