Constructive criticism has been one of the biggest catalysts for growth in my life. Yes, I admit that when someone shares a thoughtful critique, my initial reaction is often defensive. But I have worked really hard to stuff that reaction so that I can give the suggestion some respectful consideration. As a result, I've learned some really important things.
While constructive criticism is good, it is hard to take in large doses. I probably should have recognized that before I asked for feedback from 2500 people. :)
Last week and this week, I have been reading through hundreds of survey responses from Focus Leadership Institute alumni. Some of them give feedback on the general goals of the alumni office (which = me), and many more of them give feedback on the alumni reunion we have planned for this summer. And they are very helpful. In fact, I have already started implementing some of the suggestions I have received. But, as constructive criticism is intended to do, they highlight all of the gaps in my understanding of my audience, all of my communication failures, all of the places where my actions fail to live up to my intentions.
So right now, I am a bit heavy-hearted. And very weary.
I am super excited about the dreams I have for FLI alumni. I will be thrilled if I can accomplish even a fraction of the vision I have. (And someday soon I should write a post about that.) But right now, I need to go to bed. And I need to think twice next time I get a whim to ask for criticism from that many people at once.