Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 1/8/18

I talked to a very bright guy I know recently whom I really respect. He’s creative and articulate and interesting. During our time together, on three separate occasions, he mentioned something negative that, purportedly, someone else has said about me. I have always called this kind of reporting “schoolyard gossip.” I remember when our kids’ fourth-grade teacher told us during a parent evening at school, “Here’s my deal: If you don’t believe everything your kids tell you about me, I won’t believe everything they tell me about you.”

I’ve always dismissed third-party critique as something the sender is trying to say but prefers to pretend it’s someone else. I’ve told consultants consistently to never believe what employees say about the boss unless they observe it personally and can gather empirical evidence.

Once upon a time, I would have demanded to know who said such things and/or would have tried to immediately change my behavior. But today, I just listen and don’t respond. After all, this isn’t a moment of soteriology. If I’m going to be “saved” it will be in a church, not in a bar.

Oh, by the way: Two of those third parties are existing, quite happy clients, who are referring others to me. And therein the question of whether I believe a relayed, third-party complaint, or my lying eyes!

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” —Zig Ziglar

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