The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems is a delightful gift that arrived in the mail for my birthday. At first glance, the book is about a dirty bird who won't take a bath.
Since I have been studying with Mira Reisburg at Children's Book Academy. I have discovered that picture books usually contain a tightly constructed story with one or more universal themes.
Most kids will enjoy the story and relate to not wanting to take a bath. Perhaps they will laugh and remember when they hesitated in a new situation. Pigeon finds the water too hot, too cold, too deep, not deep enough and many other humorous challenges as he takes his first bath.
Adults however might see themselves in terms of not wanting to get the feedback that is directed at them. Pigeon is told he smells. He makes excuses at first and finally gives in and takes a bath.
I can relate to not wanting to hear what I am told when I get feedback in writing. I deny it at first and then I take the plunge and re-write. When I re-write I can't believe how much better the story flows.
When coaching a leader, feedback is involved. The reaction begins with denial. Like pigeon in the bath, some leaders go too far and wallow around in their feedback for too long. They become feedback junkies.
I have been there too. In my case it began with DiSC, then I studied The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®(MBTI®) and then dove into The Enneagram. They are all great tools and feedback is an important part of the leadership process. However, at some point we must get out of the tub and take another step toward our vision.