There’s a difference between seeking respect and seeking affection. I’ve never cared whether clients like me so much as that they respect my opinions. As a matter of fact, employees and audiences often don’t like me because I threaten their conventional thinking. I’m pursuing the electoral college (the buyer) and not the popular vote.
Example: After all the threats aimed at United Airlines after dragging that man off the plane, the company had a record quarter. No matter how much people complain about their treatment in coach on airlines, they are filling the seats because they want to get someplace for as little money as possible. The airline doesn’t care about the complaints (being liked) because it’s going to fill the seats anyway with the economics of its products. (“Take the seat now or we’ll make them even smaller!”)
If you read “smile sheets” and pay attention to what the audience thinks, or you’re upset when client employees complain about you, you’re using the wrong metrics. Your family should love you, and your dog will always love you (or at least pretend to). But your clients should respect you.
Life isn’t a popularity contest, and rewards for popularity are like those for participation: often indicative of being present but not being effective.
I’m not concerned about your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being. —Jackie Robinson
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