If People Are Trying To Shame You, You're Probably Doing Something Right

Whether you're starting a new business, or just trying something new in your workplace, having critics isn't necessarily a bad thing. Marketing guru Seth Godin points out that upsetting the status quo is likely to ruffle a few feathers.

Photo by Rochelle, just rochelle

As Godin notes:

If your new business plan disrupts an industry or pisses a lot of people off, there's a good chance you're on to something good. You should worry more when nobody's talking.

His main point is that people in power often benefit from maintaining the status quo. If you find a way to save the company money, but your plan would take some responsibility away from another employee, their natural reaction would be to fight against it. The key is to identify why people are being critical, and to not let their shaming discourage you from trying new things.

Seth Godin on Dealing With Critics and Rejection [Entrepreneur]


Comments

    Very curious. I've never equated rejection, resistance or criticism with being "shamed" (that is, suffering dishonour or disgrace). Embarrassment perhaps, but not shame.

    It's not pleasant, and we may well fear rejection, criticism etc. and go out of our way to avoid these things, but I'm not convinced that "fear of shame" is exactly what's at play here. But apparently that's what Godin believes:
    Godin points out that critics and those in power use shame to keep innovators at bay:
    "Fear of shame is a powerful tool to modify behavior, and those in power have been using it for years. They want to be able to change us by delivering shame and we've been taught to listen it I, believe it, and swallow it.

    On the other hand, this is spot on:
    Godin's thoughts on this are helpful. First, on avoiding rejection he says:
    "Change is powerful, but change always comes with the possibility of failure as its partner. 'This might not work' isn't merely something to be tolerated; it's something you must seek out."
    If your new business plan disrupts an industry or pisses a lot of people off, there's a good chance you're on to something good. You should worry more when nobody's talking.

    Last edited 10/03/13 11:18 am

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