Timing is everything

I worked with a client looking to have a more significant impact as a leader. We identified a few blind spots and some ways to shift behaviors. For example, regarding supplemental reading, he chose a book he wanted to read during the coaching program. It was a book that challenged some deeply held beliefs about how he thought work should be done. It was, in his mind, perfect timing.

He realized he already owned two additional copies when he purchased the book. His mom gave him a copy of the book when he graduated college, and he had never read it. One of his managers offered him a copy of the book ten years earlier. He never read it. And now, ten years later, he was finally ready to dive in and read it.

The timing was never right

It’s not surprising that he had yet to read the book. He wasn’t ready. And even if he had read the book previously, it would have meant something different to him then.

Likewise, we might receive feedback on our leadership and need to see the relevance. We might glean an insight into an area of development for us and need more time to be ready to act on it.

That’s fine!

Not all feedback or insights are relevant, and the timing for it can be off for several reasons.

Sometimes, you aren’t ready to hear the feedback. Or, you hear the message but think it’s something you have already “fixed.” Sometimes, that feedback requires you to peel the outer onion layers to hear the message.

Address the layers one at a time

We often need help to reach the center of what is holding us back. And we need to start addressing some outer and more manageable layers, experiment with some shifts, and continue digging.

It might be years before we have peeled back enough layers to receive that message meaningfully. 

Development is not a straight line

It more closely resembles a spiral staircase. As we grow and evolve, we have different perspectives, more experience, and broader viewpoints.

We can begin to unhook our identities from our job or beliefs of what makes us worthy. Don’t be surprised if some messages or feedback you have heard in the past re-emerge in future years.

You aren’t going backward. And it’s not that you haven’t “dealt” with the feedback yet. The difference is now you hear the messages. 

You take different actions, and you are more open to them. The timing is finally right to have an impact.