I recently received both of these emails on the same morning. Have you ever had the feeling that you were being hit over the head with a message? Well, on this particular morning I certainly did. I had to pause, go back, re-read and really think about what they were saying. It’s a message that I’ve heard many times throughout my life and one that I completely understand. Yet the day that I got BOTH of these in my inbox, I felt like I needed to really zoom in and focus on the message.
I recently heard from a TED speaker who was able to quote, verbatim, truly nasty comments people had posted about her talk.
And yet, I’ve never once met an author who said, ‘Well, my writing wasn’t resonating, but then I read all the 1 star reviews on Amazon, took their criticism to heart and now I’m doing great…’
There are plenty of ways to get useful and constructive feedback. It starts with looking someone in the eye, with having a direct one on one conversation or email correspondence with a customer who cares. Forms, surveys, mass emails, tweets–none of this is going to do anything but depress you, confuse you (hey, half the audience wants one thing, the other half wants the opposite!) or paralyze you.
I’m arguing that it’s a positive habit to deliberately insulate yourself from this feedback. Don’t ask for it and don’t look for it.
Yes, change what you make to enhance delight. No, don’t punish yourself by listening to the mob.”
By Seth Godin
“Of course, you can’t control other people, Kathryn. Not even a little; not a smidge. Every man and woman is their own sailing vessel powered by their own thoughts, emotions, and imagination. You can’t improve their smile, nor even add to their woes, unless, at some level, they let you.
So, does that pretty much clear up the effect others can have on you?
Just don’t let them know you’re ticklish, Kathryn.”
By Mike Dooley
I tend to take what people say at face value so I don’t immediately question what motives a person may have when they are delivering criticism. I am guilty of letting others’ opinions get to me……… at first. But as I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve gotten much better at taking a small step back, looking at the big picture and considering where a person is coming from when delivering their unsolicited opinion. What I’ve discovered is that it doesn’t always come from a place of truth or compassion.
Don’t get me wrong, I DO value opinions and constructive criticism when it comes from the heart and it’s from a person that I know cares about me. It’s important to hear sometimes. But what I need to get better at letting go of is the opinions of those that have other motives for delivering their mean spirited jabs. No, I can’t control other people and they are certainly entitled to their opinions and thoughts even if they are meant to cause harm. But I don’t have to listen! And even if I did, I still can’t please everybody. People are unique beings and they see, feel and respond on vastly different levels. Not everybody is going to agree with me or be touched by me.
These messages aren’t new to me but obviously I needed to revisit them a little. I don’t believe in coincidences.