Build Up vs Tear Down

I received this email in response to our announcement the other day that I had just become a Forbes Contributor.

Very pleased, but to be honest I have yet to see anything I haven’t seen before.

I’ve learned that the more exposure I get, the more thick my skin needs to be. Everyone has an opinion.

Opinions are great, but not all opinions make a difference.

There are opinions that critique or tear down. They provide thoughts or perspectives about the current state. Those with the opinion evaluate what they see and share their thoughts, like this person did in his email to me. But they don’t offer anything of use. There is nothing the receiver can do with the feedback.

This type of opinion offers little to NO value. It does nothing to build, improve, strengthen, grow, innovate etc. It’s just a critique and therefore it’s pretty much useless. There is nothing the receiver can use. There is no way to respond. The receiver is provided nothing to work with, no way to change. That’s the problem with opinions that only critique or tear down.

How can I respond to this person’s critique? How can I create content he hasn’t seen before? He doesn’t give me anything to work with. I can’t and that’s too bad.

Opinions only matter if they build. If they are accompanied with ideas, alternatives, suggestions, insight, or paths to improvements the recipient can use.

It’s simple to share an opinion that states how it is. That’s easy. You just have to open your mouth.

Providing opinions on how it could be; better, more efficient, safer, faster, bigger, more popular, more informative, less boring, etc. are much more difficult and they are the only opinions that matter.

We have a choice, we can build or we can tear down. We can berate or build. It’s our choice.

What type of opinions do you offer?

Only one matters.