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Beyond Compare

Beyond Compare: It's ready for you.

If you allow it to, Beyond Compare will help you to see where comparison: may be stopping you from creating what you want; may be preventing you from activating your calling; may be making you feel (and play) small for fear of projections; may be keeping you from expressing yourself fully; and, may be allowing you to disown your power (and hand it over to others).

Feedback needn’t be a slippery slope. It’s a gift.

I’ve been telling this story a lot lately…that’s usually a good cue for me to share it here with the intention that it serve you well. When I was first starting out as an Account Exec at a marketing/advertising agency, I had a client who became a pain in the ass. Or rather, the RELATIONSHIP became a pain in the ass.

The road to said asshood was long and wind-y, but we both contributed to the ultimate destination.

Big part of it was that my then boss wasn’t a huge fan of boundaries. And I knew precious little about exerting them. Which, as we know is the death knell of any good relationship.

This was a "sexy" client (read: big fish), so our orders were essentially to hand them the sun, the moon and the sky, nomaddawhat.

It started with the creation of a rebrand (and logo). Normally, you would start here with a couple of black and white options and build from there. Not so with this client. They wanted to start much, much further along. Colours, sizing, variations…all buttoned down right out of the gate. We tried to deliver. No matter how many times we were sent back to the drawing board, we were told by our boss to keep going until the client was 1000% satisfied. No small feat, as they made all decisions by committee.

I recall us creating an iteration that was exactly, precisely TO THE what they had asked for. It didn't look right, or even kind of close, or even decent, but we presented it anyway because we had learned the hard way by that time (round #34?) to show them EXACTLY what they wanted...nomaddawhat.

But by then, they were seriously pissed that we were still so off in our design approach. How could we present something that looked so awful? (Great question.)

No matter how loudly we protested that it was EXACTLY what they had asked for, the response we got back was infuriating:

"Your job is to engineer the solution to the challenge".

Asshat comment. AND completely right. It WAS our job. We got it right on logo #53.

Yep. #53.

When we finally started to do what we should have done in the first place: own our expertise and stand in it. The very reason we were hired in the first place.

Two things I learned then:

1) Relationships require boundaries that honour both parties. Shame on us for not having delineated ours and requested theirs.

2) My job as the service provider IS to make the client happy (within those respectful boundaries). 

3) Good feedback is a gift. One that we weren’t offered…nor did we really deserve it. We all behaved badly.

The subject of feedback, one I’ve been interested in for some time, came up in my Beyond Compare partner Lauren’s conversation with author, web designer and truly fabulous guy Paul Jarvis.

It was in the context of a discussion about evaluation. You see, one piece of our agenda with Beyond Compare is to help transform disdain (that quality of looking derisively down on someone) into the conscious critique of evaluation. (And transforming hero-worship into celebration...more on that another time).  

BeyondCompare-TheComparisonMatrix
BeyondCompare-TheComparisonMatrix

Disdain’s easy to understand…it’s the “I can only see your flaws and limitations and deny my own”. Rich and fertile ground for discovery, as you can imagine.

Evaluation’s trickier and the place where we tend to fumble. It’s the “I see your limitations and recognize that I have some too” place. It’s the place of feedback and the choice to engage critically with someone’s work without making them wrong. Assessment, debate and difficult conversations live here. For the benefit of both parties. Like I say, tricky.

So I totally appreciate the clarity and simplicity that Paul uses when he talks about working with his own clients as the creative. He does what my team ought to have lo those many years ago LONG before logo #1 was even imagined…he shares a one-pager with his clients to make sure the exchange of feedback is fruitful, nourishing and USEFUL for both parties. Efficient too.

His top 2 biggies for offering feedback if you’re the client?

#1 - Refer back to goals when asking for changes; and,

#2 - Don't be prescriptive - describe what isn't working and allow me to problem solve how to fix it.

Super clear. The client is the client and the creative is the creative and the work gets co-created in a place of mutual respect. (He shares much more about this in his upcoming course for creatives.)

Let’s face it. Feedback feels like it’s a slippery slope because we all come at giving and receiving it from a strong and defended (and defending) ego.

But it needn’t be.

When we can focus on the goals, see the inherent possibility of the gift of feedback and come at it from a place of compassion and mutual respect, we are really that much closer to bringing our very best EVERYTHING forward.

Which is what it’s about, non?

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The same old song: Our jobs as creators and fans.

If you’re a creator (and you are), your responsibility rests in finding your own edges. In staying open to the gifts that you will receive from the unimaginable source. In giving yourself wings - big flappy wing of expansion, and plenty of room. Taking off requires that. If you’re a fan (and you are), your responsibility rests in celebrating what you have appreciates about the artists’ work and to allow them their own space to evolve. It’s true, they may evolve beyond us and fly off to new places we don’t care to visit. It’s a risk we all must take together. It’s called progress.

Blinded by jealousy?

It's not your fault. That’s what jealousy does.It blinds you. Or, more accurately, it only allows you a partial view of someone’s fortune, life, experience and obscures the rest. And because we humans just can't cope with uncertainty, we fill in the blanks with our imaginations.

A little something like this:

If someone you’re eyeing is enjoying the success you desire, then they must also be enjoying the intimacy you crave. If they have the friendships you dream of, they must also have the financial stability you yearn for. This AND that.

Jealousy deals in absolutes, with little room for nuance or space for discernment. AND? With little allowance for the capital “t” Truth.

We see what we choose to see and are blind to the rest. 

Maybe you know that the French word for jealousy is “jalousie”. But did you also know that a “jalousie” is also a window shutter with angled horizontal slats? Also know as a...(wait for it)...“blind”?

Funny thing about jalousies…they are designed to allow you to see outside without being seen yourself.

(You see where we're going here, right?)

Yeah…jealousy and blind go hand in hand.

But, of course, jealousy is also an on-point teacher. A snarling, frothing, lusting, hot-breathed swamp dog of a teacher, mind you, but an on-point teacher just the same. Within what you choose to see (and what you've made up that you see) lie your desires:  success, intimacy, relationships, and financialstability.

Knowing what you want, of course,  IS the first step in making what you want to happen, HAPPEN.

And here's what I want for you:

I want for you to come out from behind the blinds that offer such a limited view of others. And such a limited view of yourself and what's available. 

I want you to experience the fullness of the person you feel jealousy towards. And to experience the fullness of yourself. Just add curiosity.

I want for you to see how relative this all is.

I want you to bring some compassion into the fold. For you. For them. For the next time you feel jealous (and you will).

I want you to see, REALLY see, that the magnificence that you've projected onto them is but a prism caught in the light of your own magnificent potential

I want you to get out from behind the blinds of jealousy and into that light.

Because the light, the light...oh it's so very much warmer in the light.

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Beyond Compare is coming soon. Tackling shadows, light, projections, jealousy, and judgment, so you can be free to do your good work. Breaking the comparison habit for good feels so...good.

Early notification, special offers and the Beyond Compare Starter kit...right this way.