More times than I like to admit I need to be put in my place. This afternoon was the latest example.
I had written 800 words of perfection. I had been witty, insightful and had come up with a solution to a problem that most of us deal with at some point in our lives.
Then I had my wife read it.
It took her all of five minutes to tell me that I was being preachy and self-righteous. (She actually said it much nicer than this, but we’ve been married a long time. I knew what she meant). I re-read what I had written and –grudgingly– came to the same conclusion.
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But here’s the thing. I need her to be my critic. Without that buffer who knows how much sanctimonious blather I would have put out into the world by now. And I am not alone in this need for a personal critic.
Whether it is our work life or personal life, we all need someone who will be brutally honest with us, if for no other reason than to stop us from making fools of ourselves. So if you want one tip to get better at your job, find someone you can run your ideas by who will be honest with you. No yes-men need apply.
And don’t think asking for help is a sign of weakness either. It takes courage to lay your ideas on the line with the full knowledge that your amazing idea, project or plan could be priggish, smug, or just plain wrong-headed.