The Gift of Honesty

Do you know what extreme unhappiness feels like? Particularly when you know you’ve got a problem but you can’t articulate the reasons why? It is so intensely frustrating which leads to the unhappiness!

So what was I unhappy about? And actually I was a tad embarrassed too. Well it was the first website that got developed for me. It never reflected who I am, how I go about partnering with my clients and what I offer. It came across as being about me, me, me! Oh dear – emoji unhappy face.

I didn’t know what was needed and how to go about getting it. Calling myself a technophobe is an understatement! Questions about: What do I need? What questions do I ask of someone developing my website. What outcome am I after, were never asked. Groan….overall it was a horrific experience.

I put up with a sub-standard website for several years and then one day I reconnected with a wonderful woman who gave me some really honest and frank feedback. She hesitated, trying to find the right words. Stumbling to express what she thought of my excruciatingly poor website and trying so hard not to offend or upset me.

In the end I made it easy. Please, please, please tell me what you think. I thoroughly dislike it. All these photos of me – how would the client know what they were going to get if they engaged me. The problem was I didn’t know where to start. How do I make it better, in what way, where and how?

So here is the “thing”. Here is the gift.  When someone wants to be honest please let him or her have the conversation.  Of course there are some rules around this: they cannot be rude, feedback needs to be respectful and discussion must be on the issues. No attacking the person please!

Well….what can I say.  The feelings of elation and happiness generated within me are still there. We had this fantastic time together exchanging ideas, laughing and creating a framework of the ingredients I needed embedded in my new website.  I nearly started crying thinking about the missed possibilities and opportunities….. I placated myself with the thought that if you know anything about me you would know it didn’t represent me! Not to worry! I now have something that is so special that represents who I am and speaks to prospective clients clearly about what I offer and what they will receive.

 

Why blog on this? Because its so important to be open-minded to honest feedback even though sometimes this can be uncomfortable. If your website or your job, or the person you’re working with doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. Often we hesitate to tell others the truth from our perspective because we don’t want to offend and hurt. The difference here was I was so overdue for a wake-up call about doing something about my website.

One of the main reasons performance management doesn’t work is due to us being unable to “have the honest conversation”. Particularly in a way that doesn’t crucify the other person. I have a process that allows you to think about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it…you may want to have a chat about this.

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