When someone insults you, it hurts. Even if you don’t believe it. Even if it’s not based in data. Even if you don’t like the person it’s coming from. When someone insults me, it really hurts. Mostly because it hits the on button of the critic that lives in my head who is insulting me all the time. Do you know her? Perhaps she’s friends with the critic in your head? I like to think they have coffee on Thursday afternoons where they laugh at us. Then I like to think of them choking on the coffee.
Anyway, I saw a blog today that hurt my feelings like a slap in the face.
But now that it’s been 15 minutes and a walk around the block I can see her (Monica, twitter handle: @CyberlandGal) points. Well, I can see some of them. And they are valid. My talk wasn’t perfect. There were some factual errors. It was my opinion based on conversations and not a proper research tool with a statistically significant sample size. I knew that was going to happen before I did it (honestly I’m just glad I got through my 4 minutes without shaking). I tried to correct the errors in the comments after the talk (you can see those here: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_lockwood_selling_condoms_in_the_congo.html). I’d love to do real research on this, but this is just my opinion.
And I respect her opinion, because let’s be honest, I certainly don’t think of myself as “jaw-dropping, informative, or inspiring” either. But, I did start a conversation. I did some research, wrote a presentation and put my opinion out there. After the sting, all that is left to do is recognize that she did too. My lesson about this is that not everyone agrees with me and I’m okay with that. I’m even okay with the critics, because they can never be as harsh as I am to myself…and they may offer a different perspective that will help me to learn more, be a better communicator, and practice smiling in the face of the slap.
So thanks @CyberlandGal. If you are free for coffee on Thursday, let me know.