My Young Professional Life

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Jack Garratt – Weathered

I want your feedback. Really, I do. Or at least, sometimes I do, within reason. And by reason, I mean this:

Please hold all comments on my relationship status, the wild state of my hair, and my general lack of popular culture knowledge. You probably have something really awesome to say, but as Brene Brown wrote, unless you’re also in the arena, also getting your ass kicked, I don’t want your feedback. What I’m looking for in these areas is really solidarity.

Secondly, please consider the timing of your comments. As an event manager, I most often receive unsolicited feedback in the days leading up to an event. Your feedback will almost certainly not be heard at this time. I will give you some version of the same answer I give everyone during those times, a polite thank you but not right now. For your comments and ideas to have maximum strength, I beg you to be sensitive to the timing of their delivery. If you’re looking to engage with me before an event, try something more along the lines of, “What can I do to help?” After all, you’re a nice person hoping to lend a hand.

Finally, I very much believe in event debriefs despite the pain they bring. Once I’ve nurtured a project across the finish line for months, I line up a group of people to discuss and dissect each aspect of it. It feels a lot like a firing range where instead of defending myself I leave my project open for improvements. Feedback is the best, the only way to get better. That said, if I invite you to a debrief session, you had better show up. I’m inviting your voice to be heard louder than all the other feedback, so think about what you’ll say and show up. Otherwise, I don’t want your feedback at all.

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