Jim’s Journal: Just A-X-E!…What???

April 22, 2013 in Jim's Journal

1989 was a year I will never forget. Six years out of college, working on my Master’s degree in Journalism and receiving life lessons (the kind the professors don’t teach you in college) from my employer each and every day. On this one particular day my manager called me into her office; she wanted to discuss what happened during the meeting we just left. After her session summary, I asked for feedback on how I did at the meeting, just like always.

What she said, not only floored me, but has stayed with me ever since. She told me that, in this meeting as in other meetings and presentations, when I pronounced the word “ask” it sounded as if I was saying the word “axe”. “In fact,” she said, tongue in cheek, “You ‘axe’ questions all of the time.” I wasn’t happy with the way she delivered the feedback, but was thankful that she said it. It helped to shape my pronunciation practices, and considering I now speak for a living, that was a blessing in disguise.

Remember, ask for feedback, both praise and polish and give feedback. Give it in a way that builds people up, not tears them down.

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