Why I Am Scared to Death Right Now

I had a conversation recently with a leader who has faithfully read this blog since its launch. It went something like this:

Hey Scott, I really enjoy reading what you write. Your perspectives are insightful and practical, things I can use every day as I lead my team. But…

There it was.

What I call "the big eraser."

Whenever I hear the word BUT, I get a picture of my first-grade teacher Mrs. Eskew saying, “Scott, would you please erase the blackboard before we go to lunch?” (Ok, now some of you are laughing because I am old enough to have had blackboards and chalk in my formative years.)

I never liked that job. It always felt to me like all the good work we did that morning was being wiped away with a single stroke.

When we hear the word BUT at the end of a string of compliments, our minds suddenly forget all the good things the person said and we prepare ourselves for the attack.

That is what it feels like too. An attack! All the compliments we received when the person started are going to be wiped away with one fell stroke of the feedback we are about to get.

The But

The person giving me feedback continued, “...BUT I tried to download one of the tools you offered and it did not work for me."

I don’t know about you, but when I get feedback like this I experience a full range of emotion:

  • Frustrated that the person had a bad experience on my site.
  • Embarrassed that I had showed a weakness in my system.
  • Curious as to what I could have done better.
  • Appreciative that the person cares enough to tell me what is not working for them.

The person who gave the feedback was not trying to hurt me. In fact, they were trying to be helpful. I really appreciated it. In fact, I tell all my clients to give me feedback because that is the only way we improve.

However, even when we ask for feedback we brace ourselves a little because the unknown can at times be a place that causes fear.

The Ask

So here is why I am scared to death right now:

As I reflected on the story above, I realized that I really wanted to get feedback from all my readers about what they are thinking. The only way I am going to be able to deliver what you all want is to ask you. It would be silly for me to continue to guess at what you want and risk not adding value to your day. So, I am asking for your feedback.

I have been doing this blog for about 6-months now, and I really need to hear from you on what your leadership needs are.

Click here to take a short 10 question survey, that will take less than 2 minutes for you to complete.

For those of you who would like a little extrinsic motivation (see last week's blog for more details on this topic), we will randomly select the name of one survey participant to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. If you want your answers to be anonymous you are free to submit the survey without including your name, but you will be ineligible to win the $50 Amazon gift card.

The Solution

On Wednesday's Leadership Tip of the Week, I will be sharing with you a practical 4-step process for overcoming emotional moments, like when someone gives you feedback and uses the word “but." This process will help you prevent your emotions from getting the best of you, enabling you to get your thinking mind back in order to receive the feedback. This model is useful and practical any time you feel your emotions starting to take over your thinking.

You won’t want to miss it, so be sure you watch the video.

The Appreciation

I just want to take a moment and say thank you. You all are the reason I do this blog. My desire is to help you and those in your organization to become better leaders. So, what are you waiting for? Why not forward the site to a friend who you think might get some value out of the work we are all doing together?

I truly believe that organizations rise and fall on leadership. My team and I would like to say how much we appreciate you spending your time with us each week. We really do value your feedback, so thank you in advance for helping us develop leaders.

Please click here to take 2 minutes and help us understand what you want in leader development by completing the short 10 question survey.

See you on Wednesday with the Leadership Tip of the Week,