Build a relationship and their criticism will soften
We had a saying in corporate communications when it came to reputation management… sometimes you have to simply aim for fair and balanced because there may not be any winning.
It’s especially true for your critics. But what if you could change that?
Considering your interpersonal relationships: Have you learned that someone who actually has some meaningful impact on your career had something negative to say about you?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you know them?
- Do they truly know you?
- What can you do to foster a better rapport or relationship with them?
It’s true that, assuming the individual isn’t toxic, it is much more difficult to say something negative about someone who your frequently engage with, even when you don’t agree with them. That negative input will indeed soften.
If you remain distant from the person or group, chances are their negativity will remain harsh or even grow more hardened.
I’m reminded of how companies foster relationships with groups in the community, and how overtime, even their staunchest critics soften their stance or in some cases become true champions over time simply because they fostered a relationship and the group got to know the company from a more realistic perspective.
Mind you, it takes time—-and you may not always win. You might simply aim for fair and balanced.
As a leader, you can do it too.
Are you willing?