Can’t Please Everyone

So, someone comes to you today with a complaint about your performance. Are you feeling defensive, offensive, aggravated, peaceful?

Regardless of your initial feelings, what is your reaction?  Can you take the criticism and come out better on the other side?

I have a history of internalizing issues.  I put on a happy mask through the conversation and end things on a high note, but for hours afterwards (and sometimes day), I continue to replay the conversation in my head thinking about what I should have said or done.  I list out all of their faults, issues and ingratitude for all of the things I have done for them.  I go over and over all of the correct steps I did take and try to rework the problem point or words.  I then come up with a new set of points I should have pointed out and shown them (in my mind) where they were wrong and where I was right all along.

But, I am slowly realizing that it doesn’t help.  I can’t go back and change things, and even if I did, they would probably come up with another issue.  You can’t please everyone.

Try as I might, I simply cannot make everyone happy all of the time.  I NEED feedback to know where I am, but when it comes from one person, it DOES NOT mean that everyone else is thinking the same way, even if they say they are.

It is not the end of the world.  Breathe.  Take it graciously and move on.

The more feedback I get, paired with an attitude of improving my leadership, the better I am at sidestepping the internalization cycle.

I failed today though.  I offended someone and they confronted me.  I smiled, apologized and parted on good terms.  But, I kept hold of the conversation and rationalized how I was right and they were wrong.  Over and over and over again.

I caught myself late in the cycle and notice that I was feeling pretty bad about myself.  It took a lot of energy to stop the process and begin thinking about what I WAS doing right.  What accomplishments I have made in the past.  I reminded myself that this person didn’t hate me and that I didn’t make any fatal errors.  Life goes on and so will I.


01 2011

Too Many Ideas To Carry At Once?

Got a few brilliant ideas? Passionate about them all, but only have time for one?

Is there a loud voice in your head screaming out, “How do I choose?

You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again.  Prioritize.  Writing it down often helps.

How to get started?  Write out each of the ideas across a horizontal sheet of paper.  Label each column, starting with your “Needs/Wants” in the first column on the far left, then list each of the ideas in their own column.

Starting with the first column, list the most important items that you would like to get in exchange for your time, i.e. Additional $1,000/mo, More spare time, New Job, Purchase a New Car, etc.  Then start with the idea you are most passionate about starting immediately.  Place the number “one” above that column and then begin to write in each row, how this idea will help you reach that want/need listed on the far left.  If it doesn’t achieve that goal, leave it blank.  Repeat for each of the columns, listing a “two, three, four” above each column and you will begin to see how well each idea works towards your goals.  (Download the “Too Many Ideas Prioritization List” HERE)

Sometimes this first step alone makes it clear which idea is the best one to work with, because it matches up perfectly with your Needs/Wants.

If it doesn’t highlight a clear winner, keep following along to the next few steps.

Create an additional row on the bottom titled “Hours per Week.”  For each idea, write in the number of hours you believe it will consume each week to work on that project.

Now it’s analysis time.  Count up each Needs/Wants that is met by the idea.  Then subtract a point if the idea requires more than 10 hours if you are working/going to school full time.  Add a point if the idea is one of your two most passionate ideas.

Not exactly a scientific approach, but it can help.  But if it still isn’t clear, you can download the following cut-out to make a die, to roll for an answer.




01 2011

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