Your Delivery Was a Little Weak and Awkward

Feedback.

The word alone makes me cringe.

Here’s how it goes down.

You’ve delivered a presentation, have a performance review or gave a talk, and you get your feedback sheet.  It’s usually  some sort of form that has number rankings, goals, and comments.

You’re excited and terrified. Because, well…if you’re like me, no matter how hard you try, or how many times you tell yourself that you’re going to see the positives first,  your eyeballs betray you, sliding right to the low number, unmet goal or negative comment.

Your gut churns, and several things happen.

You start an imaginary argument with the person about the feedback or start, claiming it’s not true.

Or

You immediately agree, start beating yourself up mentally while simultaneously listing out ways you’ll address the issue.

Or

You go blank, unable to focus on the rest of the feedback results.

Or

You decide to quit immediately because you’ve secretly wondered if you’d be the best Starbucks barista, earning awards and acclaim for your mad latte making skills.

(No? Not you? Just me? OK.)

Receiving feedback is hard.

The title of this blog comes from a comment that I received.  The person who gave it was thrilled with the content, but not with my delivery.  (you can’t please everyone).   It was the first comment I saw, and it made it hard to focus on the rest of the evaluation.

I had to sit with it for a while.

The more I thought about it, moving emotions aside,  I realized that there was truth in it.

My delivery was a little weak and awkward.

The more I thought about having   “weak and awkward” moments, the more I started to like it.

Why?

Being weak and awkward at times is part of what makes us human.

I’m in this business to help others show up as themselves, not robots or professionals hiding behind masks of “perfection.”

If I can have weak and awkward moments, so can you.

Making mistakes, being awkward and weak sometimes makes it safe for others to do the same. 

This comment is now my favorite.

I’m embracing my weak and awkward moments and hope you do too.

 

Tell me about a time when you’ve shown up as weak and awkward. Let’s keep the conversation going!

 

 

 

 

4 replies
  1. Will Frazier
    Will Frazier says:

    Great article on receiving feedback and being “weak and awkward.” I’ve got plenty of moments in all aspects of my life that I could share but what gets me through these times is a quote from Zig Ziglar, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly…until you’re able to do it well.” We don’t start out great. We start out weak and awkward. But if we stick with it we can become great, effective, and inspirational in our sphere of influence!

    Reply
    • Alexandra Rufatto-Perry
      Alexandra Rufatto-Perry says:

      Thanks for reading, Will! I love the quote. I have a favorite quote too from the author of Creativity Inc. Ed Catmull that’s similar to your Zig quote. It goes “In order for there to be periods of greatness, there have to be periods of not so greatness.”

      Reply
  2. Angela
    Angela says:

    My feedback moment came as a college student. I wanted to be a writer and I entered a very prestigious writing competition at my school. One of my manuscripts made it to the semifinals where they were judged by writing critics. When my manuscript was returned there was one comment written on the first page. It read, “This is hopeless academic crap!” I was devastated. I never submitted another peice of writing for publication. But I did go on to write hundreds of training courses using storytelling to teach. So I guess I’m the queen of “hopeless academic crap.”

    Reply
    • Alexandra Rufatto-Perry
      Alexandra Rufatto-Perry says:

      WOW, Angela! Thank you for sharing. Sorry to hear you’ve never submitted any additional writing, I wonder if the critic knew his or her words would have that sort of impact if he/she would’ve changed them? Sounds like you’ve turned this negative experience into some big-time success, though. That’s fantastic!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *