I got a mean message. Here’s how I replied. – Pick Dave’s Brain

How do you respond when someone sends you a mean note? What do you do when someone anonymously gives you “drive by criticism” intended to tear you down? It’s a problem we all must deal with at some point.

In this video I share how I chose to respond to one of these messages…

Click to tweet this: In a world filled with middle fingers, have the courage to give others a thumbs up. @DaveCrenshaw

How do you respond when someone sends you a mean note? I am going to respond to one right now.

Recently I received message from someone. I am not going to put up on screen or give you their name. But, basically, the idea was that they were shaming me for all the work that I had done on a huge project that had taken me years. This anonymous person said that they were disappointed in me. When that happens, how do you respond?

It’s an important question for leaders to be prepared to answer. The more successful you are, the more people you reach, the more this will happen to you.

Now, for me, it only happens once a month; but you see celebrities on Jimmy Kimmel read mean tweets, and they are constantly bombarded by comments like these.

Consider my good friend Jason Hewlett, who’s extremely successful. He had a post go viral about how he was cheating on his wife—with his wife—at Target. And it received hundreds of thousands…even millions of views, and lots of great comments, and also a lot of nasty comments. Jason sets a great example for me with how he is always positive and always looking for the best in people.

This is how I responded to this message and, hopefully, this would be helpful for you. What I decided to do was appeal to the person’s empathy by flipping it back on them. What I said was:

“Imagine for just a moment that I walked into your place of work and said to you, in person, the very things that you just said to me. Can you imagine that moment? Can you imagine how ugly that would feel? How much it would hurt?

“If people are treating you like that in your office and I saw it happening, I would defend you. I would tell that person to stop it. You do not deserve to be treated like that.

“I don’t know who you are, but I believe in you because you—as a human being—have the potential to do great things. And you deserve me standing up for you.

“Rather than seeking to tear people down, seek to build people up. When you do that, you will be surprised how much more both of you can accomplish.”

That’s how I responded. I’d like to hear from you. How have you responded when someone sends you a critical, mean message like that? Please share that in the comments below.

And if you have a question you’d like me to answer, go to davecrenshaw.com/ask.