I just got back from Ohio, where I did a Team Building training for a forming team. It was a long drive but faster than flying would have been… that’s for sure! One theme that seemed to be present yesterday was that some of the folks were taking the feedback on their behavior style as a personal attack. We worked though that pretty well.
When I got home last night, I had an e-mail from a client asking for advise on how to handle a situation… I was forwarded an e-mail where someone, we’ll call her Judy, unloaded on my client about an incident that happened in a group they share in common. It seems the group choose another provider versus using Judy. The short part of the story was Judy was hurt and took not being chosen by the group personally. Just a note to us all, It’s never a good idea to unload in an e-mail about a situation. My good friend Lisa Hanson, a field executive with a large property and casualty insurance company taught me that a long time ago.
So the question becomes… what do you do when you feel you’ve been wronged? Here’s my answer… don’t take it personally. How do you do that? You must remember that 99.9% of the time, it’s not about you! The book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz says “to take something personally is the highest form of arrogance.”
A helpful strategy that I try to employ is “The quality of my communication can be judged by the results I get.” If I don’t get the results I wanted or expected… I look to myself first and then I try something else. If I am not chosen for an assignment, I look to see what did I do (or not do) that might have caused me to not be the provider of choice. Secondly, I ask for feedback. As hard as it may be, I listen to the feedback non-defensively to see how I can improve.