We have all heard someone proudly declare, “I don’t care what other people think of me.” And, under some but not all circumstances, I completely agree. A leader must confidently take a stand, make a decision, and do what is in the best interest of the company, often ignoring naysayers. At the same time, it’s important to understand the etiquette of when to care what people think of you.
Here are five reasons to give consideration to the opinion of select others before your next business step.
Certain views matter. Think of the people in your life whose estimation you truly value. Perhaps a mix of close friends, a partner, parents, mentors, colleagues or a boss whose ideas have impacted your life in a significant way came to mind. When acquaintances, strangers or people you rarely agree with spout off, feel free to ignore them. But advice from people you respect has merit and is worth a ponder.
You may be limiting yourself. An example that immediately comes to mind is appearance. You are undoubtedly entitled to sport a myriad of piercings and multiple tattoos, or arrive to an interview in a wrinkled shirt and messy hair, and it is nobody else’s business. That is, until your interviewer evaluates whether you will be a good corporate fit for their conservative company with a strict policy on professional attire and grooming. Arriving without careful thought and planning sends the message that you are indifferent, or unsophisticated.
Kindness isn’t weakness. A strong sense of self-confidence does not exempt you from good behavior.
Let others know their feedback has significance and you are open to what they are saying. Take the time to decide if a concern is meaningful.
There is strength in listening. While the viewpoints of others may not sway you from your decision, consider the message. Part of the growth process is taking in new information, reassessing your own ideas and reserving the right to change your mind.
Acknowledging the possibility that other viewpoints are as valid as your own is a visible sign of strength.
Personal development. When you are so convinced that there is no other opinion but the one you hold, you may be viewed as a poor choice for a company that places a priority on team cooperation. It’s a red flag in your personal life, as well. Varying opinions and interactions make life more interesting. Seeing the world in different colors, and looking at life from a different angle, opens new doors and opportunities that may just transform your life.
For more reasons to care what people think of you, check out my article on The Huffington Post, Office Etiquette: 8 Destructive Workplace Personalities.