When Johnny Nash sang his hit in 1972 called, “I Can See Clearly Now,” it was #1 on the Billboard Charts. It’s a catchy, upbeat tune that has be re-recorded by dozens of artists over the years. But it’s the lyrics that are so poignant:
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Nash’s offering to us was truly a gift and is a melody that will be with you all day today.
But this message isn’t about Johnny, the song or catchy tunes in general. It’s about you seeing clearly—as a professional. Any time you can overcome your performance blind spots, you can achieve more, better and faster. And that gift comes to you in the way of feedback.
When someone offers you an observation or insight that hinders your performance, it, too, is a gift. And anytime someone takes the chance of telling you something that could help you, it is a courageous act—a courageous act of generosity. Because they could have
• Kept their mouth shut
• Given you less than the full truth
• Sugar-coated it
• Lied to you
But they didn’t. They were willing to go out on a limb and give you something that others have been unwilling to do—for you benefit. Even if they could have done it better, with more tact or sensitivity, they offered it anyway.
As you go into the season of evaluation, rather than resist or resent what you hear, make sure you express appreciation for their willingness to offer something that will make you better. And now that you can see clearly, put it into action. Do something with the gift. So, are you humming yet?