How Do You Respond to What Others Say?

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

Someone has asked me some important questions:  How do you respond to what others offer as feedback?  How do you know if it’s genuine help or a barrier to your success?  The answer that immediately came to me – and what resonated with the person that asked – is you have to weigh the response you got against your mission and/or your vision.

Mission vs. Vision Statement

Marketing in Progress

The Mission / Vision Filter

By having a mission or vision statement for yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish, you not only have a map that pinpoints your destination, you have a way to determine what you pack and take on the journey.  If your goal is to accomplish “x” and the advice you got is on how to accomplish “y” than chances are that the feedback you were given is not useful.  If you are looking to accomplish “x” and you were given advice on how to do that then there are a few things you can consider such as:

  • Exploring why you may be resisting the suggestion.  Did you already try what was suggested?  Was the suggestion unsolicited?  Do you question whether the person giving the advice has your best interest at heart?  Do you need more feedback from other sources before you can identify which is the correct route for you to take?
  • Considering what is in it for the other person.  As Seth Godin might ask, does the person who has offered you feedback have a stake in which path you choose?  Do they have a vested interest in your success or failure?  It is possible you may still need to vet the person offering the advice, or you might need to consider the context of their story and their experience when you receive their advice.
  • Considering the price of change.  An excellent filter for evaluating change in the moment is what Cassandra Schuler would say is considering the intent versus the content.  If you change the content of your message or your event and your intent is still intact what is the cost of making the change?  If you change the content and the intent also changes than there is cause to either say no to receiving the feedback or reevaluating your initial intent.

In the end the mission or vision you have established could and should determine how you respond to what others say.  While your mission or vision can change, it should not easily be changed without some serious consideration.  What happens next should be true to who you are, the kind of work you’re looking to do, and honor the way you intend to relate with the rest of the world.


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About Tiffany A. Dedeaux

Tiffany is an ICF Career Coach and a cross-pollinator of ideas with a background in broadcast journalism, social and ecopsychology, and coaching. Tiffany’s nearly two decades of experience has helped her to identify the power of story in connecting us to each other as well as to our environment. A believer in the power of reflection, practical application, and celebrating victories, Tiffany understands that the more we all live our dream, the more we can model it for future generations.
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