fight-fight-fight

Whoops! Guess you pissed somebody off. Cause you just got a seriously negative comment on your post. Or did you?

Listen, these things are going to happen. Especially if you are making a difference in the world. There are always going to be naysayers and critics. You can see them as a worrisome burden or an outstanding opportunity. Or you can see that as what they really are in most cases – attention.

Much like there’s no such thing as bad press, negative comments mean that people are paying attention. How you deal with that attention especially negative attention says a lot about your character.

I know it’s tough to not put on your gloves (I love to box and counterpunching is how a lot of  fights are won according to my trainer) but this is a social world and everything you say can be spread virally. With this in mind, we’ve put together some guidelines that may help you when you run into negative feedback.

First things first:

Evaluate the messenger – definitely go check out their profile before you answer. Most detractors have a lot of things on their profile that will let you know that they aren’t here to just ask a few questions. They are here to argue with you about what you do. As my friend Kim Kirchherr says you don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to. If there isn’t any chance to persuade or give them insights into what you do, there’s no reason to engage.

Use your listening skills – with just text, it’s really hard to tell if they are being inquisitive or sarcastic. People forget commas and write like they talk. Say it out loud in a couple of different tones. I always try and think that most people have good intentions but they don’t write them that way.

Ask more questions to clarify what they are talking about – don’t just make assumptions. You could be off by a mile and a half and you just wasted a ton of your time and you didn’t answer their question.

Be respectful and polite – farmers are some of the most respected people on the planet. Don’t soil yours as well as your fellow farmers’ reputation by getting into a name-calling, ALL-CAPS shouting match.

Use your own experiences as examples – you can prove how you take care of your animals by posting pics and videos of them. You’ve got tons of stories of leaving your warm bed to stay up with a sick calf. That’s a big deal and people sympathize. Continue reading