Stop and Listen

Events lately have conspired to remind me of two truths:

  • People are very bad at receiving negative feedback, especially when it comes from people they don’t know very well.
  • People are very good at giving negative feedback, especially if they don’t really know the person they’re giving it to.

Bonus: the internet makes all of that terrifyingly easy.

Without getting into any details about the situations I’m thinking about, here’s the lessons I’m taking away so far:

  • Read the room. (Huh, that’s the second time in two essays I’ve used that line.)
  • Relatedly, consider the people who are sitting on the sidelines; remember that when you talk, they are also listening. (Many thanks to a friend for articulating that idea.)
  • Finally, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Originally published at The Interconnected.