I wanted to share with my favorite readers a piece I just wrote for my new job. Feedback welcome!
I have re-watched the Charlie Sheen interview four times now and every time the sign on his forehead gets bigger to me. However, each time I watch the interview I force myself to see a little more of myself in his inability to be self-aware. Have you ever asked yourself what you might look like if you were interviewed on TV? Hey, you might not be asked to take a urine test after then interview but then again you might be. Charlie Sheen’s interview is just an exaggerated version of what our own interview might look like. We are all somewhat on the Charlie Sheen drug, or as I like to call it we all have the Charlie Sheen syndrome. We can’t see ourselves as clearly as others can.
Here’s the problem, if we don’t ask others what the sign above our heads looks like then we will never know. This is the problem with the sign, it’s only readable by others and we can spend our lives avoiding feedback that might give us a clue as to what our sign says. This is another reason Charlie can’t see his own sign, he can pay people to lie to him about the flashing neon sign above his head that clearly reads, “danger ahead.” Have you ever really looked in the mirror though and asked yourself, what do others see when they look at me? Are you the goon on TV that everyone laughs at but no one has the courage to confront or are you the guy that people tune in to listen to? Are you Oprah or Charlie Sheen?
How can we figure out what our sign says though, if you are really curious take the journey with me to find out. First ask your friends, the ones that won’t lie to you, how you come across. Which guy are you at the party? The one who always has to have all of the attention or the one who people want to talk to, If you think you are the one everyone want’s to talk to then you are probably not him. Second, listen to yourself. If you are always the one talking and if you use the word win more than once then you need to check your sign. Third, receive honest feedback gracefully, if you want to be someone that people can talk honestly to then create an environment where people can talk openly to you. Do you get defensive every time someone wants to give you feedback, if so then you have created an environment that is inhospitable for honest communication. If you don’t believe me ask people around you for honest opinions and watch them cower in fear.
For example, I talk too much in a crowd so my sign reads, “I don’t care what you have to say.” Is this the message I want to send, definitely not, but I am sending it. Now that I know this information I can either blame everyone else (ie Charlie Sheen) or I can take what I know about myself and make changes. So now that you have the tools to see your sign what will you do with what you know? Will you change who you are or will you blame everyone around you and take the Charlie Sheen drug?
Jennifer - This is a great post. I'm encouraged to ask for some feedback from my friends on how I come across. Excelent!