[LLVMdev] Emotional responses to feedback
kr512 at optusnet.com.au
Tue May 13 07:47:53 CDT 2008
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to have the chance to
speak with a very successful businessman at the top of his
niche, and I asked him, "Clearly you have a formula for
success, what is it?"
He told me his secret. He said that every month they pull a
name out of a bucket, and that person must then prepare a 20
minute presentation explaining why one of their COMPETITOR'S
products is superior to their own, and how bad and defective
their own product is. The person is forced to criticise and
trash-talk the company's own product.
And then after the presentation, the people at the meeting
prepare an action plan to solve all the
deficiencies/problems that the person mentioned. And then
over the course of the month they do it!
Furthermore, for each deficiency that the person finds and
the group votes as being significant, the person receives a
Another curious successful businessman I once met had a PA
(personal assistant) who seemed to be frequently criticizing
him and saying negative things about him -- to his face! I
asked him, why don't you fire her?
He said, "That's part of her JOB. If she DOESN'T criticise
me, then I will fire her!" Yes he actually had it written
in her job contract that she must criticise him regularly.
When I had asked him, "Why don't you fire her?", that was
shortly after she had delivered a fairly devastating
criticism that shocked me a little bit. She said it, I was
somewhat shocked, but he wasn't shocked at all, wasn't
annoyed at her in the slightest bit, wasn't angry, didn't go
crazy, didn't deny it, instead he just said "Well she's
kinda half right, it would be better if I did something
A month or so ago someone harshly criticized me about
something. I didn't want to admit that his criticism was
true. But I did admit to myself that it was true, and that
made me a little bit depressed. Then I thought, "How can I
And I pondered it, and then I worked on it for a while, and
recently I solved it after less time than I had anticipated.
And succeeding in solving it felt AWESOME, really awesome, a
Whereas if I had deluded myself into thinking that his
criticism was stupid, I would never have worked on fixing
it, and that defect would have remained, I would have missed
an opportunity to improve, and I would have also missed the
awesome feeling of conquering the problem.
Clearly some people here feel very passionate, fanatical,
and emotional about this project, and are consequently
unable to read any constructive criticism and feedback about
it without taking it personally and going bonkers-bananas.
But just remember, although I may say some negative things
about this project at times, I AM ON YOUR SIDE.
I am not saying negative things to try to hurt the project,
on the contrary I am saying negative things because I want
to HELP the project improve.
And how do you make a project better and more successful?
By being brave and confronting the negative things, and
acknowledging them and SOLVING THEM instead of denying them.
There are dragons out there, working against you, limiting
and damaging your success. Don't pretend they don't exist.
Don't deny them. Don't say they don't matter. Don't run
away from them.
Be BRAVE and acknowledge their existence, and then run up to
them and SLAY THEM WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH!!!
That is how the most successful people become successful.
They confirm the existence of their dragons, and they
confirm that they are harmful, and then they deliver
crushing blows until the dragons are defeated.
Whereas a weak or insecure person is scared and runs away
from the dragons, and then tries to save face by claiming
that the dragons don't exist or don't matter, despite the
fact that the presence of the dragons is blatantly obvious
to most of the people in other villages.
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