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I had the opportunity to participate in a coaching program today at Babson College in Wellesley Massachusetts. The program matches undergraduate freshman, juniors, and seniors with area Babson alumni and business professionals. In my opinion, it is an innovative approach to integrating feedback into the undergraduate curriculum as well as connecting Babson College to the broader Boston community. Kudos to Babson!

But what really struck me as I finished the coaching session today was the courage of those students who participated in the program. Imagine participating in three business case discussions with other classmates, while being directly observed by six older business professionals…all with the goal of receiving specific competency-based behavioral feedback on your performance during those discussions…and you are 18 to 22 years old.

In the business world real behavior-based feedback on performance is a rare commodity…many of us “prefer” not knowing how we are performing and rarely elicit specific and regular feedback from others. Performance reviews, when given, often are considered a chore and very perfunctory. 360 degree assessment feedback is often reviewed, possibly disputed and then filed away for a “some day” review when the “real” work is done.

The undergraduate students at Babson who participated in the program inspired me to courageously ask for regular feedback I know I need for my own growth and excellence. I challenge each of you in the business world to do the same.

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