The Coaching Carousel, & The Feedback Carousel

Good morning leaders, clients, and friends,

How are you at receiving honest, well-intentioned feedback? What gets in the way of receiving it well? How are you at giving it? What holds you back from receiving it well?

Perhaps you’ve heard about the number of high-level College and Pro football coaching positions that have become vacant as several coaches have retired, resigned, been fired, or “mutually went separate ways.” One that retired was Nick Saban of Alabama, and the topic of how we receive and/or give feedback came up when one of the guys in our mens’ group sent out a Saban quote for us to discuss:

“Average players want to be left alone.
Good players want to be coached.
Great players want to be told the truth.”

Most of us would easily agree that feedback is a good thing…but we still often end up in The Feedback Carousel, where well-intentioned coaching and counsel is received with Defensivitus and Excusaria which prompts Elevation and Irritation which leads to Blame-o-Rama and Deflectionism, or something else just as unproductive.

Other guys in our group had contributions as well:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Bernard M. Baruch

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start right where you are and change the ending.” James R. Sherman

“Once any leader thinks he knows all of “the truth,” he limits his team and will be constrained by his/her own blind spots.” – Jim Dechert

“He who hates reproof is stupid.” – Proverbs 12:1

“The way of a man is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” – Proverbs 12:15

“There are two things people want more than sex and money… recognition and praise.” – Mary Kay Ash

“You will know good from bad when you are calm, at peace, and passive.” – Yoda

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” ― Bernard M. Baruch

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” – Winston Churchill

“As iron sharpens iron, so one sharpens the countenance of a friend.” – Proverbs 27:17

I hope that you’re receiving great feedback from those around you. If you’re not, I hope you can give some focus to move the needle on that. Part of becoming better versions of ourselves is having assists from others.

I am grateful for those I work with (and those I’m with in small groups) who are willing to step up and give feedback, and for those who receive it well in the helpful spirit it is intended. I hope it’s a mark of your team(s) as well, and am glad to help if it’s not.

Here’s to a great week! -Doug

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