Negative feedback is always an opportunity

Crossing_PathsAs you work to bring your change into the world, some people will inevitably tell you you’re doing it wrong. They’ll say you’re too early or too late, too simplistic or too complex, too deep or too shallow, going about it in the wrong way in the wrong place with the wrong people.

Listen to them, thank them, and then do it anyway.

But first remember that it has taken your whole life for you to come to the insights you now have, stheir feedback will mean one of four things:

  1. They are far ahead of you, and the changes you are suggesting are no longer relevant to them. (In which case they are likely encouraging you to move forward)
  2. They are behind you and not yet ready for the changes you are suggesting. (What will it take for them to catch up? How long will that take, and how much effort from you?)
  3. They are exactly the people you are looking for, but you are not communicating your vision in a way they understand. (Listen, learn, and adapt your message.)
  4. They are simply on a different path, headed towards a different purpose with different values. (Your work will never be relevant for them so don’t try to force it.)

When someone brings you feedback listen, thank them, and then do it anyway: either the same as before, or in a new and improved way.

Negative feedback is always an opportunity, either to save wasted time or to improve your message still further.

All change is part of a wider journey.


Chapter 7 of Inspiration describes how to manage the inner challenges that will undoubtedly arise along the journey to your vision.

Chapter 6 describes how to articulate that vision in a way that inspires others.

Chapter 5 describes how to get clear on your purpose and values.

You can buy these individual chapters and the tools they contain, each for less than the price of a cup of coffee, here (chapter 5), here (6) and here (7).

Or you can buy the whole of Inner Leadership for Inspiration here as an ebook or paperback.


Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões via StockPholio.net

2 Replies to “Negative feedback is always an opportunity”

  1. Well said – dealing positively with one own’s emotions when getting “negative” feedback is key to proceed on the path oneself has envisioned to go. Perhaps some pivoting, reframing, or new wording will be necessary. Nevertheless we are all born to learn a life long.

    • Thanks Ralf, I’m glad you found it useful.
      The reframing you talk about is explicitly covered in Chapter 2 of inner leadership.
      And as you also say, knowing our Purpose clearly provides a ‘lighthouse’ that we can use to orient ourselves in the deepest storm. This is Chapter 5.

      With just those two tools then life long learning suddenly becomes a lot easier 🙂

Leave a Reply