And Oh! how I know this to be true. Humans make mistakes. I am human.
On August 5, I posted a piece called “All the kids are doing it”. I was quite proud of the content and was excited to see what you all might think of it. I am pleased to say I received a number of very positive responses.
Ashley Adams from Dollywood was one such contributor. What also struck me as encouraging was her note AFTER telling me how much she liked the message of the post. Here is what she wrote:
…a couple more things. I hope this doesn’t offend you, but if I was writing a blog for so many others, I would want someone to tell me. I am not even sure if you can go in and edit, but at the beginning of the fifth paragraph, you have “Image” instead of I guess, “Imagine” and in the sixth paragraph, in the parentheses, it should be “deflecting” instead of “delfecting.”
If you can’t change it, it just shows us you are human too!
Personally, I SO appreciated that Ashley took the time to point these things out to me. It will make me more careful as I proofread my work in the future. (That doesn’t mean I won’t make mistakes, but I’ll be more careful about it!)
There are two things Ashley wrote that really intrigue me – I’ll start with the second one first. In her last line she mentions being human. As I talk to more an more people, being able to admit a mistake and “being human” are two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly. The funny thing is that many leaders are afraid to admit a mistake because they feel it will undermine their credibility. 99.9% of the people I’ve spoken to say that the opposite is true – the trust level actually goes UP when someone can admit a mistake. Hmmm…
The second (or first – depending on how you look at it) thing that struck me was how she prefaced the feedback. “I hope this doesn’t offend you”. I know exactly where that came from… so often we give feedback and immediately the other person gets defensive and offended. If we look more closely at the feedback itself, you will notice that she states facts, and gives me a reason why she is giving the feedback. To me, I took it in the spirit of her trying to make me a better writer.
Too often our feedback is lined with judgments and assumptions that almost beg the other person to get defensive. Ashley never said I was a bad writer or that I lacked attention to detail or that I had a bad attitude. Had she done that instead of focusing on indisputable facts, this might be a very different post. :o)
Thanks again, Ashley!