If I Had Wanted Your Opinionm I Would Have Asked For It

By: Ken Keis


"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible."
Bertrand Russell, British Author
1872 - 1970

If I Wanted Your Opinion, I Would Have Asked for It.

Opinion -- A view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter; belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge; a formal expression of judgment

What would your life or business look like if you changed it to fit everyoneís (in many cases unsolicited) opinions? You certainly would not be living your purpose.

In the past several weeks, I have had the pleasure of speaking to several groups across the country. In every session, individuals have their opinions of the content and style of my presentation. Some are very positive; others are not.

In life, especially if you are in the public eye or if you are the least bit controversial, some people will disagree with you. In fact, I would argue that if everyone likes you, you are not challenging them enough.

The highest-paid experts are hired because their clients can count on them to state their position and not be swayed by popular beliefs or differing professional opinions.

About 10 years ago, I stopped using participant-evaluation forms with a numeric 1-to-10 measuring format and any mention of the lunch or the facility. I found that a percentage, ranging from 5% to 25% of the group, was more interested in the lunch than the content. Sorry, the session was about sales, leadership, living on purpose, and so on. The lunch has nothing to do with behavioral transformation!

Research confirms that no matter what a presenter or speaker does, 5% of the participants will dislike him or her. The reality is that many people have baggage and they will carry it with them to your presentation. The issue is not about you -- itís about them.

For example, as an expression of our corporate values, CRG periodically offers one of our programs to a nonprofit community group. Just last week, we had the opportunity to work with mid-managers from various organizations who are part of an initiative to take leadership into their community.

Unfortunately, the groupís original speaker cancelled his engagement less than 72 hours before the event. Thatís when we got the call. We responded to their last-minute request and donated our time.

The presentation went well and feedback was positive, except for a couple of individualsí hateful remarks about me and the session.

That was disappointing. Ironically, the purpose of that group is to develop leadership by encouraging citizens to become fully engaged, while embracing diversity. Now, who would want to follow people who display vicious, juvenile conduct?!

What type of person posts vile comments? Usually shallow individuals who lack self-confidence and who typically are not very successful.

My point is this: No matter who you are or what you do, unsolicited opinions and comments that have no merit will be offered. They should be completely ignored. That includes "well-meaning" family members and friends who are judging the way you should run your life or business.

Unless the advisor has a track record of success in the exact area you need, why would you listen? Here are some examples.

- Someone who has no children tells you how to parent.
- An individual who has had no success in investing tells you how to invest your money.
- A career counselor who dislikes his or her job is counseling you on how to live your life on purpose.
- A person who has never been successful in business tells you how you should run your company.
- An average or below-average sales rep tells the sales superstar how to improve his/her sales performance.
- An individual who has never supervised others tells you how to lead a team.

The list goes on . . .

In the end, you must live your own life. Donít let dysfunctional individuals or uninformed family and friends inject their opinions into your space. Be respectful, but just say No.

Thatís why I stopped seminar evaluations. The only feedback I need is from the decision-maker who invested in the session.

Unless you are one of my trusted advisors, I am not interested in your opinion about my presentations. After 20 years and 2000 presentations, I know myself. I have my own personal style and I am not going to change -- nor should you -- just because a minority did not like something.

Of course there are some exceptions, such as feedback from individuals in authority at work and those you trust the most. Even then, make sure you are not being forced to be someone you are not -- or expected to compromise your values in favor of another person.

I encourage everyone to stand in your personal and professional space with confidence. You can choose to seek wisdom from others but you must be watchful of the qualifications of your sources.

When you are confident and clear about who and what you are, othersí opinions will no longer impact you. You donít need validation because you are secure in yourself. And negative feedback will not take you out.

CRGís purpose is to help you establish and confirm who and what YOU desire in life. With all its resources, CRG contributes to individuals, families, teams, and organizations to help them live and work on purpose.

Take the Action Steps below.

ACTION STEPS

If I Wanted Your Opinion, I Would Have Asked for It.

1. Are you completely clear about what is important to you, in all areas of your life? If not, what do you need to confirm?
2. Have you allowed unsolicited opinions from unqualified individuals to influence your life and business? If Yes, why do you think you have allowed that to happen?
3. What has listening to othersí ill-considered opinions cost you in terms of direction, confidence, and success?
4. Decide this moment that you will not allow ignorant opinions into your personal or professional space. What do you need to change or shift to achieve that objective?
5. The reality is that if you stand for anything, someone will disagree. If you never have anyone disagreeing with you, are you living authentically or are you simply trying to please others?
6. Feedback is an important part of growth; proactively select your group of advisors to make sure they have a proven track record of success in the area where you seek counsel. Make sure these individuals will tell you the truth -- not just what you want to hear.
7. Set an objective that you will take the necessary steps to mature to a level where the opinions of others do not matter.
8. Your life or business is your own to live.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

Ken Keis

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Ken Keis, MBA, CPC, is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. He is President and CEO of CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc., Many professionals herald CRG as the Number One global resource center for Personal and Professional Development.

For information on CRG Resources, please visit crgleader.com

For information on Kenís Training and Speaking Programs, please visit kenkeis.com

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