10.5 Attitude

A defensive or off-putting attitude can sabotage all the work you’ve put into carefully selecting the audience, thoughtfully identifying your objectives and preparing your content, and stating that you are seeking discussion. Your audience will be reluctant to offer constructive feedback if they sense that their feedback will not be well received and you will leave the meeting without achieving your objectives, and ill prepared to make any refinements or additions to your data analysis. And when it comes time to deliver a formal presentation to an external audience, you will not be well prepared and won’t be able to present your best work. To avoid this pitfall, deliberately cultivate a receptive and positive attitude prior to communicating by putting your ego and insecurities aside. If you can do this successfully, it will serve you well. In fact, we both know people who have had highly successful careers based largely on their positive and welcoming attitude towards feedback, including constructive criticism.