The Disapproval Matrix

Don’t Listen to Everything

Super loved this by Ann Friedman. For all of you trying to create change in the world either as entrepreneurs or writers or simply by choosing to be kickass instead of kiss ass, you’ve already discovered haters. In Ann’s quest for understanding haters, she created The Disapproval Matrix, which I found to be so perfect, I just had to share it with you:  Disapproval Matrix by Ann FriedmanThis is one way to separate haterade from productive feedback. Here’s how the quadrants break down:

Critics: These are smart people who know something about your field. They are taking a hard look at your work and are not loving it. You’ll probably want to listen to what they have to say, and make some adjustments to your work based on their thoughtful comments.

Lovers: These people are invested in you and are also giving you negative but rational feedback because they want you to improve. Listen to them, too.

Frenemies: Ooooh, this quadrant is tricky. These people really know how to hurt you, because they know you personally or know your work pretty well. But at the end of the day, their criticism is not actually about your work—it’s about you personally. And they aren’t actually interested in a productive conversation that will result in you becoming better at what you do. They just wanna undermine you. Dishonorable mention goes to The Hater Within, aka the irrational voice inside you that says you suck, which usually falls into this quadrant. Tell all of these fools to sit down and shut up.

Haters: This is your garden-variety, often anonymous troll who wants to tear down everything about you for no rational reason. Folks in this quadrant are easy to write off because they’re counterproductive and you don’t even know them. Ignore! Engaging won’t make you any better at what you do. And then rest easy, because having haters is proof your work is finding a wide audience and is sparking conversation. Own it.



And so for those of you that wonder if I have ever read any of my YouTube comments, the answer is No. I suspect but have not given into temptation to see if my talk has gotten trashed over at YouTube. That’s because I saw what it did to friends who have gone before me.  The people who are (as my friend Brene Brown would say) in the Arena of Life, showing up to fight for what they love… they are worth listening to.

For your own personal mastery, you need to get feedback that is constructively shaping you forward. So, don’t give the wrong people permissions they haven’t earned.  For family, friends, colleagues, or strangers — look at the classification and decide if they have earned the right to criticize, and then decide whether to listen to their point of view.

P.S. So if you happen to see a friend’s video on You Tube, don’t start the conversation about their hard work they are putting out into the world with “those idiots on YouTube…” You are simply not putting your mouth where your heart is.  (And, yes, this happens more than you might imagine and so there is plenty of evidence that this doesn’t bring two people closer together.)



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