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Unsolicited Feedback

Unsolicited Feedback

Episode 304 | August 10, 2023

Unsolicited Feedback

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Alan Weiss PhD

Meet Your Host, Alan Weiss

Alan Weiss is one of those rare people who can say he is a consultant, speaker, and author and mean it.

His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Times Mirror Group, The Federal Reserve, The New York Times Corporation, Toyota, and over 500 other leading organizations. He has served on several boards of directors in various capacities.

His prolific publishing includes over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill) now in its 30th year and sixth edition. His newest is Your Legacy is Now: Life is not about a search for meaning but the creation of meaning (Routledge, 2021). His books have been on the curricula at Villanova, Temple University, and the Wharton School of Business, and have been translated into 15 languages.

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Show Notes

Let me harshly deal here with people who provide you with feedback you didn’t ask for, don’t require, and can’t use. That applies to feedback which is too positive as well as too negative.

We talk here about the trivialists, the hypocrites, the projectionists, and the general pains in the ass. Those who claim the only thing to do with feedback is to consider it are directing you toward the life of the ping pong balls or pickle balls being whacked back and forth. 

You’ll hear some of my standard replies when offered unsolicited feedback and why even my mother fell into my feedback hell. 

No one is erecting statues to critics in the park, even to replace those Columbus statues so ardently removed. We honor creators, not critics.

Thus: Defend yourself against the time wasters and underminers and passive-aggressives who would, with a patina of supposed good intention, try to derail you. Our job is not to please everyone, not to be liked, but rather to help improve people and be respected. We do that through the honest and forthright delivery of good ideas and practices, not through tearing others down.

Feedback can radically change others’ behavior, especially if they think you know more than they do. Be careful about intervening when you’re not asked. Telling someone they have lettuce in their incisors or toilet paper draped on their Pradas is, indeed, an act of good will. But telling them they shouldn’t be eating lettuce because they have an eating disorder or that their shoes are inappropriate is not helpful.

Don’t believe everything you hear. In fact, try not even to hear everything.

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Alan Weiss’s The Uncomfortable Truth® is a weekly broadcast from “The Rock Star of Consulting,” Alan Weiss, who holds forth with his best (and often most contrarian) ideas about society, culture, business, and personal growth. His 60+ books in 12 languages, and his travels to, and work in, 50 countries contribute to a fascinating and often belief-challenging 20 minutes that might just change your next 20 years.

Introduction to the show recorded by Connie Dieken