You Should Get to Know You

Posted on March 23, 2011

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Damn you Top Gun, why must you be so quotable. Please pardon my cheese, I just can’t resist:

“A good pilot is compelled to evaluate what’s happened, so he can apply what he’s learned.” – Viper (Tom Skerrit) talking to Maverick (Tom Cruise).

I get tired of hearing people say things like, “I am my own harshest critic,” or “no one is tougher on me than I am.” There’s really no value in beating yourself up. There is however a lot of value in being able to honestly critique your work. It’s not easy, but it can be worth the pain and sometimes, when you realize you are making progress toward your goals,  it can be a very rewarding experience.

Anotherwords, listen to yourself. Pick at least one show a week and listen back to it. You’ll be surprised how much you learn about what’s going right and what isn’t. I know how difficult an assignment that is. As I write this I realize that I’m a hypocrite. I haven’t re-read any of my blog posts, but I should. 

So, before I go back and start reading my own blog, here are a couple of suggestions to make the process less painful:

Before you start, consider what you hope to hear. Focus on a few specific goals you’ve been trying to reach. That can help take the emotion of out the process because you aren’t trying to pick apart every little detail.

 Listen in the same atmosphere as your audience. The most obvious example is the car. Take a drive and listen to your show. You might be surprised how different the experience is when there is road noise and traffic instead of good studio monitors and equipment.

My final suggestion is to go back in time. It can be hard to notice gradual improvements on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. Go back six months or a year. Listen to a show from your last station. If you’ve been working at your craft there should be a noticeable difference you can be proud of.

Then if you feel you need help fixing problems you hear, hire a good mechanic.

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