Don’t Discount the Message Because You Don’t Like the Messenger

A few weeks ago a client and I were discussing strategies for growing her business. One idea in particular seemed like a terrific fit but it had been offered by one of her “frenemies”,

“Argh…” my client said, “I hate admitting that she’s right.”

My response (and it’s rare for me to be so pithy) was,

“Don’t discount the message because you don’t like the messenger.”

Now I will admit this is easier said than done (particularly when the message includes criticism) but it can be useful to keep in mind.

Speaking from my own experience, I will never get over being told—some ten years after opening my business,

“You’ll never amount to anything. You’re just a freelance kid.”

And while the rage this engendered was useful fuel (For more on that, see my post, “Embrace the Hate”) the speaker’s point about the scattered nature of my business did have truth to it;  because at that time, even though I was media training, I was also editing books, ghost writing books, teaching yoga….

Suffice to say, I got focused and wrote “How to Wow” and that led to “The Wow Factor” and “Wow Your Way into the Job of Your Dreams.”

So the next time you’re about to write off a suggestion because there’s a piece of you that just can’t believe so-and-so said that consider how you might respond if you liked the messenger.

* Again, if you enjoyed this post, you might like Embrace the Hate