If I Wanted Your Opinion, I Would Have Asked for It
What would your life or business look like if you changed it to fit everyone´s (in many cases unsolicited) opinions? You certainly would not be living your purpose.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of speaking to hundreds of groups across the globe. In every session, individuals have their opinions on the content and style of my presentation. Some are very positive; others are not as much.
In life, especially if you are in the public eye or if you are the least bit controversial, some people will disagree with you. In fact, I would argue that if everyone likes you, you are not challenging them enough.
The highest-paid experts are hired because their clients can count on them to state their position and not be swayed by popular beliefs or differing professional opinions.
About 20 years ago, I stopped using participant-evaluation forms with a numeric 1-to-10 measuring format and any mention of the lunch or the facility. I found that a percentage, ranging from 5% to 25% of the group, was more interested in the lunch than the content. Sorry, the session was about sales, leadership, living on purpose, and so on. The lunch has nothing to do with the behavioral transformation!
Research confirms that no matter what a presenter or speaker does, 5% of the participants will dislike him or her. The reality is that many people have baggage and they will carry it with them to your presentation. The issue is not about you—it´s about them.
For example, as an expression of our corporate values, CRG periodically offers one of our programs to a nonprofit community group. We had the opportunity to work with mid-managers from various organizations who are part of an initiative to take leadership into their community.
Unfortunately, the group´s original speaker cancelled his engagement less than 72 hours before the event. That´s when we got the call. We responded to their last-minute request and donated our time.
The presentation went well and feedback was positive, except for a couple of individuals´ hateful remarks about the session.
That was disappointing. Ironically, the purpose of that group is to develop leadership by encouraging citizens to become fully engaged, while embracing diversity. Now, who would want to follow people who display vicious, juvenile conduct?! This seems to be the character of the cancel culture crowd.
What type of person posts vile comments? Usually shallow individuals who lack self-confidence and who typically are not very successful.
My point is this: No matter who you are or what you do, unsolicited opinions and comments that have no merit will be offered. They should be completely ignored. That includes “well-meaning” family members and friends who are judging the way you should run your life or business.
Unless the advisor has a track record of success in the exact area you need, why would you listen? Here are some examples.
- Someone who has no children tells you how to parent.
- An individual who has had no success in investing tells you how to invest your money.
- A career counselor who dislikes his or her job is counseling you on how to live your life on purpose.
- A person who has never been successful in business tells you how you should run your company.
- An average or below-average sales rep tells the sales superstar how to improve his/her sales performance.
- An individual who has never supervised others tells you how to lead a team.
The list goes on . . .
In the end, you must live your own life. Don´t let dysfunctional individuals or uninformed family and friends inject their opinions into your space. Be respectful, but just say No.
That´s why I stopped seminar evaluations. The only feedback I need is from the decision-maker who invested in the session.
Unless you are one of my trusted advisors, I am not interested in your opinion about my presentations. After 32 years and 3000 presentations, I know myself. I have my own personal style and I am not going to change—nor should you—just because a minority did not like something.
Of course, there are some exceptions, such as feedback from individuals in authority at work and those you trust the most. Even then, make sure you are not being forced to be someone you are not—or expected to compromise your values in favor of another person.
I encourage everyone to stand in your personal and professional space with confidence. You can choose to seek wisdom from others but you must be watchful of the qualifications of your sources.
When you are confident and clear about who and what you are, others´ opinions will no longer impact you. You don´t need validation because you are secure in yourself. And negative feedback will not take you out.
CRG´s purpose is to help you establish and confirm who and what YOU desire in life. With all its resources, CRG contributes to individuals, families, teams, and organizations to help them live and work on purpose.
Take the Action Steps below.
If I Wanted Your Opinion, I Would Have Asked for It
- Are you completely clear about what is important to you, in all areas of your life? If not, what do you need to confirm?
- Have you allowed unsolicited opinions from unqualified individuals to influence your life and business? If Yes, why do you think you have allowed that to happen?
- What has listening to others´ ill-considered opinions cost you in terms of direction, confidence, and success?
- Decide this moment that you will not allow ignorant opinions into your personal or professional space. What do you need to change or shift to achieve that objective?
- The reality is that if you stand for anything, someone will disagree. If you never have anyone disagreeing with you, are you living authentically or are you simply trying to please others?
- Feedback is an important part of growth; proactively select your group of advisors to make sure they have a proven track record of success in the area where you seek counsel. Make sure these individuals will tell you the truth—not just what you want to hear.
- Set an objective that you will take the necessary steps to mature to a level where the opinions of others do not matter.
- To assist your personal journey of confirming what is important to you so you are not sidetracked by other opinions, I recommend the following CRG resources.
- Know where you are going with my book The Quest For Purpose and the support online course. This provides you the roadmap and processes to confirm what is most important to you in all areas of your life.
- To identify your natural preferences and strengths, complete the Personal Style Indicator.
- To clarify your core values, complete the Values Preference Indicator.
- To understand how your level of self-worth is affecting your success, complete the Self-Worth Inventory.
- Finally, to determine how your lifestyle is influencing your stress and wellness levels, complete the Stress Indicator and Health Planner.
- Your life or business is your own to live.
Keep Living On Purpose,
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