A couple of weeks ago Seth Godin wrote a fantastic post on how we should be doing team reviews, Turning the habit of self-criticism upside down:
When it’s time to write a resume or talk to a boss or discuss a project glitch with colleagues, the instinct is to spin, to avoid a little responsibility, to sit quietly. Put a best face forward, don’t set yourself up.
When reviewing just about anything you’ve done with yourself (in your head), the instinct is to be brutal, relentlessly critical and filled with doubt and self-blame.
What if they were reversed?
What if the habit of the project review meeting was for each person to put their worst foot forward, to identify every item that they learned from? What if we took responsibility as a way of getting more authority next time?
And the flip side–when talking to ourselves, what if we were a little more supportive?
It’s not an easy habit, but it works.