Sitting across the table from a prospective client that didn’t hire you can be somewhat uncomfortable. I find myself fidgeting around with my pen, spinning my phone, and avoiding eye contact. There is a little thing in the construction and design industry called “the Debrief” where you sit down with current or potential clients to get the real scoop on why you did or did not get hired for a particular project. While it is difficult at times to hear, I schedule debriefs with all of our clients to find out what they liked about our firm, what things they didn’t like, and what they thought we needed to work on. Everything is done to improve our process, and hopefully raise the bar even higher the next time there is an opportunity.

This week, I was sitting across the table from a prospective client, getting ready to hear first hand why they did not select my firm for a project we had submitted on. We were proud of the work effort that had gone into the pursuit, and thought we were a much better choice than the firm that was selected. And then the feedback began to bring us back to reality….

Hearing things you don’t want to hear from people is often avoided at all costs. We would much rather be the ones delivering the feedback than the ones receiving it.

This past weekend, I was venting to my wife about this guy I know who is a Christian, but does nothing to grow in his Faith. He is totally comfortable with the title ‘Christian’, but you would never know it by his actions. Frustrated about this guy’s lack of passion, I started venting to my wife who then told me how I was losing focus. I was not being loving, forgiving, and instead was being judgmental. I was expected to be an example of Christ, not pass judgment on His behalf. She pointed out that I was harboring bitterness in my heart over the situation, and I needed to let it go. It was not my burden to carry, and the more I got upset and judgmental, the less God was able to exhibit His traits in my own life.

I had just been debriefed, and it was difficult to hear.

Feedback is so important for each of us. We need it in order to grow and improve as sometimes we are blinded to our own faults. While we are looking at the faults of our neighbors, we fail to recognize the imperfections in our own lives.

As I sat through the debrief this week for the project my firm did not get, I took copious notes on how to improve for next time. I thought to myself how this project debrief was strangely similar to my debrief with Julie the day before. Here I am, just a man hopefully continuing to grow and improve for next time. Sometimes you need the truthful words of others to make you stop and take notice….

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Ephesians 4:14-16
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

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