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Handling Insults

May 27, 2010
by Scott Levitt ·  

Scott’s Thoughts: How Do You Handle Insults?
What do you do to deflect your detractors?

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
–Oscar Wilde

As you probably imagine, I receive a lot of email after Tuesday Tactics goes out. I spend a good part of Wednesday and Thursday responding personally to feedback. Most of it is positive, constructive, interesting feedback that helps us improve. I love it.

Last week, though, I received the following message:

“Oh please… Have you not any original thought…any critical thinking…this kind of meaningless ‘positive thinking’ is total fiction, false thought and just pure bunk.”

Wow. Just… wow. I took a moment to reflect: Was Tuesday Tactics off the mark? Were our free ebooks and tips all fluff? Sure, we do it for free, but we don’t use that as an excuse to skimp on the quality. Had we strayed from our mission to help the real estate community with truly useful information?

It was the first time we’d heard a nasty word about our work, and for a moment I wondered if there weren’t more people out there who felt the same way. Was this all a waste of time?

Fortunately, I didn’t allow those feelings to last long. We hear from people every week about how helpful they’ve found the newsletter. We have no intention of calling it quits, that’s for sure.

But it made me wonder: How do you handle insults? What’s the best method for reacting? Should you react? In this case, I wrote back a polite note asking for constructive feedback. What were we missing? How could we improve? (Of course, I didn’t hear anything back.)

In the spirit of this experience, I thought I’d share this useful article by Tammy Lenski, from her blog “Conflict Zen.” It’s titled “Zen and the Art of Dealing With Insults.” It’s brief, entertaining, and shows you three great perspectives on handling insults:

http://conflictzen.com/zen-and-the-art-of-dealing-with-insults/

Enjoy… and thank you all for the positive feedback. Know that your words make a big difference to me and my team.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Handling Insults”
  1. Tammy Lenski says:

    Hey, Scott, thanks for the shoutout about my post and inviting your readers to head on over for a visit!

    That message you received sure was a good example of the kind of caustic messages that can get under the skin if we let it. Good for you for being purposeful about what feedback to let in because it’s useful and what “gifts” to refuse.

    Best,
    Tammy

  2. Terrie Harmer says:

    Hi Scott,

    About the message you received:
    “Oh please… Have you not any original thought…any critical thinking…this kind of meaningless ‘positive thinking’ is total fiction, false thought and just pure bunk.”

    I needed that. Thank you for posting it. I have definitely let that kind of feedback affect me and get under my skin. I agree with the comment above, “good for you for being purposeful about what feedback to let in because it’s useful and what ‘gifts’ to refuse.”

    Terrie

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  1. [...] I stumbled across a terrific example of this approach recently, when Eric Raymond of Oakley Signs & Graphics contacted me about referencing one of my articles on their blog, Free Help for Real Estate Agents. [...]

  2. [...] I stumbled across a terrific example of this approach recently, when Eric Raymond of Oakley Signs & Graphics contacted me about referencing one of my articles on their blog, Free Help for Real Estate Agents. [...]



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