Are You Beating the Costco Odds?
Just today, I got feedback from a program I lead and someone was dissatisfied with their experience. I was reminded of a lesson learned from the past.
It was about 15 years ago when I was brought to tears, crying on my kitchen floor.
I’d just spoken at a conference breakout session to a large group of about 75 women. The talk was inspirational. I shared my personal story of rowing in college and on the Olympic rowing team. I talked about the challenges I had with my rowing coach and what I learned from those experiences. People were engaged. I felt alive, which I usually do on a stage, and Susan and I celebrated afterward.
Then about a week later, the conference team sent me the feedback from my talk. Most of it was glowing and positive. However, there were some negative comments from one gal who really did not like my story or my talk. Her anonymous feedback was mean in sharing how bad I was.
I was crushed. It turned me into a puddle of tears as I slumped onto our cold black and white tile kitchen floor, balling my eyes out. Susan tried to console me, but I was devastated.
The next day when I was still sore but recovering, Susan said, “I think you’re hurting yourself over that feedback because you think everyone should like you.”
I said, “Of course!”
“That’s too bad because you’re beating the Costco odds,” Susan replied.
“What?!” I asked, confused.
Susan shared her theory.
“People think that everything at Costco is cheaper, but it’s not true. About 33% of the goods are a great deal. 33% of the goods are priced the same other places, and the other 33% are more expensive (especially since you can never finish that ginormous box of cereal before it goes stale).
The same is true with your relationship to people. About 33% of the people are going to love you. 33% will be neutral to you, and the last 33% aren’t going to like you.
So what percentage of the feedback was negative?” She asked.
“About 10%,” I replied.
“Well then, like I said, you’re beating the Costco odds!” Susan said with a smile.
Okay, that made me feel a bit better, but gosh that gal was so mean!
Then another dear friend said, “You need to love on that part of yourself that was hurt, but after that part of you feels a bit better, ask yourself: what part of the feedback is yours and what part is hers?”
What she meant was—what’s the grain of truth in her feedback?
I pondered that question. After a while, I could see that I may have sounded like I was blaming my coach. Maybe I could take more responsibility for what happened and shift my story a bit.
Then, what’s her part?
Well, perhaps my story triggered something in her that hit home and she’d not dealt with it yet.
Something else to consider is how the feedback is coming to you.
It’s easy for people to be flippant and mean when they’re anonymous and don’t have to look you in the eye and give you direct feedback. They can be cavalier, vent, and not care about their impact on you.
While it may be helpful to gather general feedback from an entire audience to see if you’re directionally correct, consider gathering specific feedback from experts and people who want you to develop. For me, that would be my speaking coach and my partner, Susan.
If you’re a coach, author, speaker, or anyone who is putting yourself out in the world and sharing your point of view, you’re going to get reactions. It’s easy to be intimidated by negative feedback and shut down and stop putting yourself out there.
Don’t fall into the trap I fell into then AND almost did again today!
Remembered the Costco odds.
I did. As result, I was able to be curious and consider what the grain of truth was, what their part was in the situation and not become a puddle of tears on my kitchen floor!
P.S. Do you want some support stepping off the platform and getting on a train? CrisMarie, personal coaching, and/or I, Leadership Mojo, are happy to coach you. Join us for one of our programs.
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke are Master certified life coaches, business consultants, speakers and authors of The Beauty of Conflict. They believe real relationships are the key to creating great business results. They’ll take your team from mediocre to great.
Interested in coaching? Check out CrisMarie’s executive coaching and personal coaching, or Susan’s personal coaching and equus coaching.
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