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.