The DANGER of unloving CRITICS and uncritical LOVERS

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“Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers”.

This is quote by John Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. 

Whether you’re a leader or not (and in the wider sense, we all can be leaders)

seek out ‘loving critics’.

These are people who will give you candid feedback about how you present yourself and your ideas in meetings, interactions and presentations.

They’ll tell you what they liked about how you present yourself and your ideas, and where they believe you could improve – but they do so with ‘love’ and genuine caring for your growth.

Avoid unloving critics. People who just criticise you with no ‘love’ or encouragement. Avoid uncritical lovers. People who blindly praise whatever you do with no feedback on how and where you can grow.

Own the Conversation

In the next seven days:

  1. Consider the range of people with whom you regularly interact. Optimally these people are often present with you in meetings or are in your audiences when you present and lead meetings.
  2. Choose one person who you think might be a good candidate for your ‘loving critic’.
  3. Approach the person and present the idea.
  4. Offer, as appropriate, to be their ‘loving critic’.

p.s  Here’s a post on a proven strategy to get interaction in your weekly direct reports meeting.

p.p.s. Here’s an important message from a top performer I know, Charles Heuneman, Managing Director, VP of Asia Pacific for Natterbox

You can contact Charles at charles.heunemann@natterbox.com

You need to speak more with your customers not less!

Many people come up to me at conferences and say that they don’t want to talk with their customers or they want to speak with them as little as possible.  I personally find this incongruous because it suggests that these companies view their customers as a cost and have lost sight of what it was that made them successful in the first place, which was personalised customer service!

The challenge is that it is very hard to scale and control costs.

Offshoring customer service has its known limitations and technologies like machine learning, AU and chat bots etc. are a long way from being able to service anything but the most  basic requests.  When it comes to solving complex problems and building trust and relationships you still need to talk!

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