Not a good start!

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Rummaging through some old papers the other day, I came across a sheet of written feedback I received in my early days as a trainer with a high street bank.

It doesn’t make for pretty reading and amongst other comments were:

  • “Matt must work on his techniques to get more information from the group”
  • “He needs to work on his notes and not just rely on the guide”
  • “Matt needs to do a lot of work on his content”
  • “He must devise ways to involve the group”
  • “His humour may be taken the wrong way by the group”

How did I ever recover? How did I get to the point where I can actually earn a humble living from training and presenting?

Two things. One, my manager at the time was a diamond. She could see my potential and was actually able to convert this dreadful feedback into fuel I could use to improve. She was a damn good coach although I don’t think anyone was using the term back then.

Two, I continued to train and develop, particularly in the area of public speaking and presenting; an area which to this day, causes many a manager sleepless nights.

Was it ever any different? To succeed at anything requires us to learn and develop, to believe in ourselves and have someone nearby to believe in us too.

So… I’m interested in your similar tales:

  • When has feedback – good or bad – bought about a real change in your performance?
  • Whose unfailing belief in you has enabled you to succeed despite the odds
  • What can you do now that seemed almost impossible when you first started?
Matt Somers

Matt Somers

Matt Somers is the UK’s leading trainer of managers as coaches. His coaching skills training programmes, books, articles and seminars have helped thousands of managers achieve outstanding results through their people.

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