Two Kinds of Lost: The value of direct feedback in a developmental experience.


Two Kinds of Lost: The value of direct feedback in a developmental experience.

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They say there are two different kinds of “lost” …

… one where you know where you are, but don’t know how to get where you want to go, and

… one where you don’t know either the path you need to travel, OR… where you’re starting from.

That’s second scene means you’re really lost!

Every day, each of us uses the feedback we get – what we see and hear around us, what we uncover as truth – to understand where we are and what we need to do next to become successful.

In some cases, that’s a simple exchange.  Most of us are pretty good at seeing, listening – even offering ideas and opinions about what we see going on around us.  But the more that feedback becomes personal: observations about what we – or another – might be doing well or not… the more difficult it becomes to give and receive feedback in a safe, and more importantly, productive way.

How we communicate is generally a quite personal expression of ourselves.  The way we use our voices and our bodies to connect with others when we speak, present, or talk is – at its best – an authentic expression of who we are.  And that means it’s often difficult to get real, honest feedback about he way our communication might affect other people.

A casual “great presentation.”, or “I really enjoyed that.”, or a simple “good job.” are the easy responses we get from co-workers unwilling – or untrained – to give us more honest and meaningful feedback.  The kind that can make them, or us, a bit uncomfortable… but also gives us the real view of how others see us that then allows us to identify areas where we want to improve.

You see, our internal reality – how we think we are impacting others in high-consequence communication settings – and the actual reality of that connection (or lack of) are different.  And getting that outside view – in a safe but honest way is critical to our growth.

You can’t plot a path to change, growth, or success without being clear on your starting point.  Where are you now?  What do you like, or dislike about the “you” you see, and… how does that align with what others are seeing and feeling from you?

Working to become more of who you really are as a communicator is not a one-time event.  It’s a journey – of constant connection with yourself and with others.  And that journey requires constant guided assessment of where you are and where you want to be.

It takes years of training and practical experience to facilitate that kind of feedback in a safe, productive, and non-judgmental way. It’s one of the absolutely essential skills for anyone charged with aiding your development, and it been foundational in Speakeasy’s developmental programs for more than fifty years.

Being lost is nothing to be ashamed of.  Staying lost is.  So, take that first step… seek, and welcome the feedback you need to connect with where you are and then put all you have into moving ahead.