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The Two Most Common Mistakes that Rob Us of Success

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Two filters:

Mistake 1: Not protecting yourself from others. I once worked with a manager who gave blunt feedback in perpetuity: “You’re not a grateful person!” and “You’re just not a great writer!” and “Well, that was dumb!” My response, at first, was to listen as if everything she said was true. On the outside, I became defensive — but on the inside, I returned home emotionally beaten up. Every night my wife, Anna, would listen to the details of the encounters and help me to discern truth from error. One day she just said, “You’ve got to learn to consider the source!” My error was not that I didn’t listen, but that I listened too much. In other words, I needed to learn to filter the feedback.

Mistake 2: Not protecting other people from you. On the other hand, I once worked with a leader with whom I felt I could be completely open. One day she said to me, “I value what you have to say, but sometimes it feels like I’ve been punched in the solar plexus when we talk.” Clearly, I was not doing a good enough job at protecting this colleague from me. I needed to increase the filter of what I shared and how I shared it. (For further reading see Pia Mellody’s work on boundaries).

Learning to apply enough of both filters — but not too much — is tough. Too much or too little can create relationship conflict as depicted in the matrix below (with a hat tip to “The Relationship Grid” by Terrence Real).

The Two Most Common Mistakes that Rob Us of Success | LinkedIn

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