Getting Prolific, Day 13: Noise Reduction

Are you giving in to vague and unsolicited negative feedback?

Our startup recently received an email from a technology vendor.

Their salesperson published a video review of one of our marketing collateral pieces. Naturally, he offered us some compliments, but mostly gave what he referred to as constructive feedback.

In the video, he explained how their innovative new software could be the perfect solution to help us improve our promotional materials in the future. Their animated graphics, audio editing capabilities and camera stabilization technology was what we needed to raise our game.

My response to his solicitation was twofold.

Firstly, good for him for being creative, proactive, memorable and value forward in his sales approach. I hope this outreach tactic helps the vendor acquire lots of new customers in the future.

Secondly, thanks but no thanks. I didn’t even entertain the possibility of spending four minutes of my life watching a video from a stranger on the internet who pointed out all the shortcomings of a project that we worked so hard on, are proud of, and is working well.

My job is to focus on our company’s success and value, not give in to vague and unsolicited negative feedback.

Truth is, most feedback benefits the sender, not the recipient. Critics will state their opinions as if they are facts, but they’re really just distractions from what matters most, which is our team’s belief, energy, momentum, focus and optimism.

Those things are the force multipliers of our work. Criticism is a force divider. It’s not life giving for the company.

What resistance threatens to slow down your progress? What process does your team have to minimize barriers to completing your work?

The four word mantra that helps me in this moment is, keep your head down.

Now, I don’t mean that in some dystopian, socialist, tacit support of the status quo kind of way. Keeping your head down isn’t about staying out of the line of fire, it’s about staying in the flow of focus. Keeping your foot on the gas and moving the story forward, even if unhelpful voices of dissent aim to thwart your momentum.

Keeping your head down is a reminder to be vigilant about not letting the abundance of opinions chew up valuable time and disrupt your plans.

Otherwise you end up drifting into the light like a moth getting zapped by a pheromone laced insect traps.

Look, virtually everything out there is noise. Instead of waste time arguing with the voices, simply train yourself not to hear them.

Focus on your success and value, rather than giving in to vague and unsolicited negative feedback.

How many force dividers are you allowing to degrade your work?

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