Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Navigating the +/- tightrope

We recently had a forum discussion regarding the similarities between Love and Hate. We did not find either extreme of the emotional tightrope but one glaring fact became obvious:

We become defensive when that which we do not possess becomes evident to us

It's pretty simple, really: We work hard, develop knowledge and apply it for the sake of elevating ourselves professionally. So, you put in 60 hours, developed a great new program and presented it to Senior Management....only to receive a plethora of ideas for enhancement and a fair share of criticism.

What do those in the ivory tower know that you don't and when was the last time they did something to better the company?

Your answer to the aforementioned question falls into two distinct categories:

1. There are those who are resistant to change because they have no new ideas

2. There are those who know how to get an idea adopted and are genuinely interested in helping channel your motivation.

How do you know who to trust in such a situation?

Welcome to the +/- tightrope

The Great Dale Carnegie told us: "Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment"! What a difficult idea to adopt. How can you tell me that those who wish to destroy me are actually looking out for me.....the only real answer that matters is your perception of this feedback and how you use it.

So we've put our time in, generated new ideas and have the data to prove our case. Yet we are challenged.....our first reaction is always a warm feeling in the head - pulsating until it is released with an angry retort.....now you've just put yourself in the shoes of the naysayer instead of the change agent.

Here are a few tips for keeping your footing on the +/- tightrope:

* Accept criticism with two words: "Thank You"

* Take a second to digest feedback before you react.

* Know that anyone who offers illegitimate feedback has been identified as an asshole long before you would call them one.

* Like Dale Carnegie said - "Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment".

* Gather in all your gum balls - chew on them for a while - and spit out those that don't taste right.

Unzip Your Soul!

- Dave


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