We All Need People Who Give Us Feedback

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“We all need people who give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

  • What are you doing to improve professionally?
  • Are you growing or have you become stagnant?
  • Are you expanding your capability year after year or repeating the same year of experience over and over?
  • Are you happy with your career progress?
  • Are you getting assistance from a mentor or coach?

After playing trumpet for only 2 years in elementary school, I became the first chair trumpet player within weeks of starting junior high school beating out another guy who had 3 years more experience than I did. Why? I had had a private trumpet teacher who gave me a huge advantage over everyone else. He took years off of my learning curve.

Shortly after I entered junior high school, I started with my second trumpet teacher, Rocco DiStasio. Mr. DiStasio didn’t appreciate my musical accomplishments at such a young age. For three months, my lesson with him only involved playing the trumpet mouthpiece. It was very humbling and a bit humiliating. His point was the trumpet merely amplified what was happening with the mouthpiece. If I could make the mouthpiece sound good, the horn would sound excellent. He was right.

One week I arrived at my lesson with my horn. I thought I had heard him ask me to bring it to my next lesson. He pointed the case and said, “What’s that?” I responded, “It’s my horn.” He replied, “We won’t be needing that for a LONG time.”

I had an extraordinary experience performing in just about every type of musical group you could imagine. What made me stand out? Besides some talent, I had worked with the best trumpet teacher–my coach. That’s how I came to thrive playing the trumpet.

It’s really no different in the business world. If you want to thrive, you need outside feedback. If you only want to get by, you can do that on your own.

Photo Courtesy of Jameziecakes on Flickr

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Thought for the week:

“Dare. Dare to be more than you think.”  – Maya Angelo
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consultinghttp://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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