This Is It- Accepting Feedback and Adapting


July 27, 2013

I watched ‘Michael Jackson: This Is It’ on the flight back home from London.  Beyond being an incredibly entertaining movie, one that showed that Michael was certainly still on top of his game from a singing/ dancing/ performing perspective, something struck me when I watched.  Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, seventeen time Grammy winner, still practices, and practices, and practices.  Even though he’s been doing his job over 45 years.

Are you doing that in your job?  Can you really say that you practice and actively work on your skills to ensure that your job “performance” is as good as it can possibly be?
When you watch him, he has to be able to feel what needs to be done.  He also takes songs that are 25 years old and reinvents the performance.  Michael has directors, choreographers, singing coaches, and producers all telling him what he can do to get better.  He misses cues, he pushes back, he is told that he needs to sing certain parts of songs differently.   And in order to have a successful performance, HE ACCEPTS THE FEEDBACK and ADAPTS.

Now, here we sit in our jobs, pushing back.  We don’t like having a supervisor or coach telling us we don’t do something the way they think will work best.  We don’t really  want someone coaching us to do better.  After several years in our job, we think we’ve mastered it.  At least, many employees do.
The older I get and the more seasoned in my career, the more I know without a doubt that I have much more to learn.  Different laws, techniques, technologies.  I have so much more to give back in my “performance” if I adapt and do it this way.  And, I can certainly take knowledge I already have and reinvent it for the present situation.  I’m rehearsing every day.
So, it’s SHOWTIME!  What are you going to do?  Tell me in the comments.


  • Trish

    Great post! So true – so many people today are calling themselves experts in their field or within a practice. We all need to be open to continuing to learn and adapt to what we do. That is one thing I love about what I do, I am always learning somethign new everyday! More people need ot be open to feedback and coaching it is such a valuable tool!

    Best –

  • Therein lies the notion that without others we truly don’t succeed. I still see others look at a situation at work and insist on doing and going their own way. They are not open to other ideas or working with others. They’re afraid of being perceived as not knowing how to do their jobs.
    HR people struggle with this because our expectations are broadcast throughout the organization. We hold the organization accountable with performances and behaviors. As a result we set our selves apart, putting ourselves on pedestals. Thus others do too.
    I try to look for opportunities to collaborate, equalize my role with staff and not exert myself as the one who always knows what’s best. There is greater respect to be had by: not being afraid of what you don’t know & being open to the suggestions of others.
    I wasn’t interested in watching “This Is It”. But I am now. If someone like Michael Jackson seeks collaboration and feedback, why should anyone else be afraid to so?
    Good article, Trish.

  • Trish—

    Great post. I joke that at 23, I thought I knew everything. At 30, I was pretty sure I did not know anything. Life teaches valuable lessons, sometimes painful. Now, I realize that each person around me has learned from their own lessons, and it’s easier for me to learn from those people than it is to make the mistakes they made.

    As an HR person dealing with people issues all day, I recognize that there is plenty of room for “shades of gray.” If people around me are willing to try to help me maneuver within those gray areas, I would be a fool to not listen intently to their feedback and try to use it. Wish I recognized that when I was 23.

  • I am a great believer in asking for feedback – and offering it ( not giving it without the permission of the intended recipient)- because I know the value. The lesson we may learn from Michael Jackson ( and like Paul I might actually watch the film now – my daughter, a huge fan , loved it of course) is that listening to what is being said and working out the best way to use the feedback is important. In my experience too many people work on “because someone says it it must be true” principle and this takes them off in all sorts of direction.

    As I understood MJ – performance and entertainment – was key

Comments are closed.

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 17.20.39

About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


Play Video


Play Video

Related posts

3 Steps to More Strategic Meetings

 When holding high-level, strategic meetings, it’s important to remind participants why the business, and their role, exists.

Read More

What Are Your Boundaries At Work?

For many people, being truly present at work is not possible.  The demands of very busy jobs, ones where they take pride in the rapid pace, makes present, thoughtful decisions a luxury.

Read More

Partner with me


Get in touch today to find out more about how I can help your organization leverage HR and HCM technology to attract, onboard, retain and manage top talent.