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Monday, January 24, 2011

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Advice is like snow — the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind."

English Poet
1772 - 1834

As creative leaders, we all receive advice — some good, some bad, and some dangerous.  Be careful of who you listen to.  The wrong advice can be damaging to your emotional and mental health as well as your creative output.  Good advice can keep you on track and motivated to keep producing creative work.  Dangerous advice is that which keeps us from fulfilling our potential.  We give up because some expert says we will never amount to anything.  

As creative leaders, we are also tempted to give advice.  Be careful.  The wrong advice can destroy a potential artist or writer.  I learned a valuable technique from a trainer many years ago.  He said if you are coaching someone on skill development, you should ask them two questions:  What did you do right?  and What will you do differently next time.

Most people know when they made a mistake or messed up, even if they don't consciously admit it.  And when they write or paint something, they are very critical of themselves.  So get them to focus on what they did right?  Have them focus on the good things.  Then ask them what they will do differently the next time they write a story or paint a picture?  Get the person to focus on how he can improve.