Thoughtful feedback

Many of my projects now include a component where I walk through WordPress or a server setup with a client via Skype screen-share. Today was no exception, and I spent some time walking a new client through some configurations on the site I had just migrated for him. After it was complete, something he did caught me completely unprepared: he praised my work for several minutes.

As it turns out, he was pretty well-versed in what I was walking through with him and he had poked around before we even jumped on the call. What he was interested in though, was how I handled the entire experience without knowing the depth of his knowledge. He was an entrepreneur himself and in a way was evaluating me for potential collaboration work in the future. Specifically, seeing how I would handle client interaction.

When he explained this, I felt a tinge of embarrassment and frustration at having walked through something he already knew. But the feeling instantly passed as he continued to praise my methods and communication in the process. I don’t know that too many people have taken the time to do what he did, and I thanked him for it.

Busy people (entrepreneurs, namely) are often so focused on the conveyer belt of service and production, and it’s easy to neglect things like thoughtful feedback. I was reminded today how important and gratifying it is to give someone sincere praise for their efforts.

Entrepreneurs and artists often have a lot emotionally invested in their work and craft, so someone appreciating this can make all the difference. You never know when someone might need that encouragement. Thanks Shawn.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.

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