Gini Dietrich

Your Mom Tells You What You Want to Hear

By: Gini Dietrich | January 31, 2011 | 
258

I was reading Umair Haque’s review of Davos titled, “Ten Things You’re Not Allowed to Say at Davos.” For those of you who don’t know (and why would you, if you’re not the CEO of a Fortune 10 company or, well, Bono), Davos, Switzerland is where the upper, upper, upper (did I say upper?) echelon meet for the World Economic Summit annual meeting. And it took place last week.

Umair takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the summit and the “tiny hint of a feeling that Davos isn’t exactly fighting to tooth and nail to right the ship — but to hoard the food, and puncture the lifeboats.”

Of the 10 things you’re not allowed to say at Davos but he said anyway, there is one that really sticks out to me.

Your Mom tends to tell you what you want to hear. Davos loves diversity — as long as said diversity doesn’t carry the terrifying prospect of actually generating perspectives that question the primacy of the obsolete, crumbling paradigm known as industrial age capitalism. But here’s the thing: especially in a time when your fundamental assumptions are breaking, it’s probably your fiercest critics — not your compatriots — who have the sharpest, most resonant insights.

And that brings me to something we should all consider.  We tend to attract like-minded people. In our personal lives, at work, and through social media. We read, and comment on, blogs and articles we agree with and whose writers we like. We join groups where there are others who think like us so we feel like we belong. We even judge people with friends who judge the same way (I’m really bad in airports; like someone handed me a fashion police badge and a book of blank tickets).

So many of us are scared to death to put ourselves out there, in life and online. And so many business leaders are afraid to participate online for fear of what people will say about them or their companies.

But here’s the deal: Why wouldn’t we want to attract the detractors? Because, like Umair says, it’s your fiercest critics who provide the most resounding advice. And, let’s be real. When people say negative things to or about us, those are the ones we really listen to and take heed.

So here is my challenge to you for the week. Go find a reporter, blogger, or even colleague who you completely disagree with and have a conversation with them. But, instead of getting defensive and letting your blood pressure rise, really listen and see what you can learn. I’d be willing to bet your mind is open to possibilities you’d never considered.

You up for the challenge? If you disagree with me, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise I’m off to find someone I disagree with and start my own conversation.

Oh, and in case you were wondering and really wanted to attend Davos next year, a ticket is yours for a mere $71,000. But don’t plan to invite any friends or colleagues. Because then the price tag reaches $137,000-$622,000, depending on if you bring one or five friends.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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258 Comments on "Your Mom Tells You What You Want to Hear"

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bdorman264
bdorman264
5 years 3 months ago

I attended Davos w/ 5 of my closest friends…….after we won the lottery. Take it a step further, if you attend regular civic club meetings or board meetings that don’t have assigned seating, make it a point to interact w/ ‘new’ people from time to time.

BTW, why do you think I respond to your posts; its working I think……….:)

bdorman264
bdorman264
5 years 3 months ago

I attended Davos w/ 5 of my closest friends…….after we won the lottery. Take it a step further, if you attend regular civic club meetings or board meetings that don’t have assigned seating, make it a point to interact w/ ‘new’ people from time to time.

BTW, why do you think I respond to your posts; its working I think……….:)

bdorman264
bdorman264
5 years 3 months ago

I attended Davos w/ 5 of my closest friends…….after we won the lottery. Take it a step further, if you attend regular civic club meetings or board meetings that don’t have assigned seating, make it a point to interact w/ ‘new’ people from time to time.

BTW, why do you think I respond to your posts; its working I think……….:)

DannyBrown
5 years 3 months ago

Now if only conference organizers would read this post, and put panels together that have strong, solid opposing views and really make a great panel, as opposed to one where all the panelists agree with each other and blow soft pink bubbles across the room.

We can but hope…

DannyBrown
5 years 3 months ago

Now if only conference organizers would read this post, and put panels together that have strong, solid opposing views and really make a great panel, as opposed to one where all the panelists agree with each other and blow soft pink bubbles across the room.

We can but hope…

DannyBrown
5 years 3 months ago

Now if only conference organizers would read this post, and put panels together that have strong, solid opposing views and really make a great panel, as opposed to one where all the panelists agree with each other and blow soft pink bubbles across the room.

We can but hope…

johnheaney
5 years 3 months ago
Gini,Another terrific post, as usual, though I think there is a missing advantage to inviting disparate views: you get to see how your opponent/competitor will frame their arguments or attacks against your product/service/program.As an unapologetic capitalist and celebrant of the vibrancy and innovative capacity of the free market, meeting with supporters of socialized medicine won’t likely provide me with insightful advice, but I will learn how they intend to frame their opposition to private health insurance companies, physician compensation and growing medical costs.The advantages I derive are: preparation to research and respond quickly and decisively when the attacks begin and… Read more »
johnheaney
5 years 3 months ago
Gini,Another terrific post, as usual, though I think there is a missing advantage to inviting disparate views: you get to see how your opponent/competitor will frame their arguments or attacks against your product/service/program.As an unapologetic capitalist and celebrant of the vibrancy and innovative capacity of the free market, meeting with supporters of socialized medicine won’t likely provide me with insightful advice, but I will learn how they intend to frame their opposition to private health insurance companies, physician compensation and growing medical costs.The advantages I derive are: preparation to research and respond quickly and decisively when the attacks begin and… Read more »
johnheaney
5 years 3 months ago
Gini,Another terrific post, as usual, though I think there is a missing advantage to inviting disparate views: you get to see how your opponent/competitor will frame their arguments or attacks against your product/service/program.As an unapologetic capitalist and celebrant of the vibrancy and innovative capacity of the free market, meeting with supporters of socialized medicine won’t likely provide me with insightful advice, but I will learn how they intend to frame their opposition to private health insurance companies, physician compensation and growing medical costs.The advantages I derive are: preparation to research and respond quickly and decisively when the attacks begin and… Read more »
Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 3 months ago
Gini, Very insightful. One of the values at Imagine (my company) is innovation, which we define as finding “the third way.” If you think about it, innovation is all about finding a new, better way to do something. There’s your way, my way and, IF WE REALLY LISTEN TO EACH OTHER, a third way. @johnheaney , I agree with you that listening to the opposition can help us prepare to deal with them, and I’d add that if we REALLY listen to peope we completely disagree with and take a learning posture, we may find that third way that helps… Read more »
Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 3 months ago
Gini, Very insightful. One of the values at Imagine (my company) is innovation, which we define as finding “the third way.” If you think about it, innovation is all about finding a new, better way to do something. There’s your way, my way and, IF WE REALLY LISTEN TO EACH OTHER, a third way. @johnheaney , I agree with you that listening to the opposition can help us prepare to deal with them, and I’d add that if we REALLY listen to peope we completely disagree with and take a learning posture, we may find that third way that helps… Read more »
Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 3 months ago
Gini, Very insightful. One of the values at Imagine (my company) is innovation, which we define as finding “the third way.” If you think about it, innovation is all about finding a new, better way to do something. There’s your way, my way and, IF WE REALLY LISTEN TO EACH OTHER, a third way. @johnheaney , I agree with you that listening to the opposition can help us prepare to deal with them, and I’d add that if we REALLY listen to peope we completely disagree with and take a learning posture, we may find that third way that helps… Read more »
JamesDBurrell2
5 years 3 months ago
I think @johnheaney makes a very valid point. Even if you aren’t using opposing viewpoints to arrive at better ‘truth’, in business as well as life, knowing the opposition is key to being successful. Perhaps that’s why we spent 2 hours each morning reviewing film of our opponents in order to prepare for football games in high school … hmmm, perhaps. I find dissenting opinions or criticisms extremely helpful. I am at an age where I know enough to know I know nothing. I’m young and I’ve got a career of mistakes and missteps ahead of me. It’s nice to… Read more »
JamesDBurrell2
5 years 3 months ago
I think @johnheaney makes a very valid point. Even if you aren’t using opposing viewpoints to arrive at better ‘truth’, in business as well as life, knowing the opposition is key to being successful. Perhaps that’s why we spent 2 hours each morning reviewing film of our opponents in order to prepare for football games in high school … hmmm, perhaps. I find dissenting opinions or criticisms extremely helpful. I am at an age where I know enough to know I know nothing. I’m young and I’ve got a career of mistakes and missteps ahead of me. It’s nice to… Read more »
JamesDBurrell2
5 years 3 months ago
I think @johnheaney makes a very valid point. Even if you aren’t using opposing viewpoints to arrive at better ‘truth’, in business as well as life, knowing the opposition is key to being successful. Perhaps that’s why we spent 2 hours each morning reviewing film of our opponents in order to prepare for football games in high school … hmmm, perhaps. I find dissenting opinions or criticisms extremely helpful. I am at an age where I know enough to know I know nothing. I’m young and I’ve got a career of mistakes and missteps ahead of me. It’s nice to… Read more »
FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
5 years 3 months ago

Hold your friends close and your enemies closer…

You cannot compete with, work around or take advantage of opposing ideas unless you understand them.

FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
5 years 3 months ago

Hold your friends close and your enemies closer…

You cannot compete with, work around or take advantage of opposing ideas unless you understand them.

FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
5 years 3 months ago

Hold your friends close and your enemies closer…

You cannot compete with, work around or take advantage of opposing ideas unless you understand them.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@bdorman264 Do you disagree with me?! Let’s hear it!

Can you believe how much it costs to attend Davos? And that’s not with lift tickets, either!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@bdorman264 Do you disagree with me?! Let’s hear it!

Can you believe how much it costs to attend Davos? And that’s not with lift tickets, either!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@bdorman264 Do you disagree with me?! Let’s hear it!

Can you believe how much it costs to attend Davos? And that’s not with lift tickets, either!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@DannyBrown I’m kind of hoping we disagree when we speak together in a month. Heck. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate just to egg you on. I don’t know if this news made it to Toronto, but we have this huge Mayoral race in Chicago. There was a debate between four of the candidates last night and one of them called another a crack addict (which, I think is true, but 20 years ago). Now THAT is a good panel!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@DannyBrown I’m kind of hoping we disagree when we speak together in a month. Heck. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate just to egg you on. I don’t know if this news made it to Toronto, but we have this huge Mayoral race in Chicago. There was a debate between four of the candidates last night and one of them called another a crack addict (which, I think is true, but 20 years ago). Now THAT is a good panel!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@DannyBrown I’m kind of hoping we disagree when we speak together in a month. Heck. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate just to egg you on. I don’t know if this news made it to Toronto, but we have this huge Mayoral race in Chicago. There was a debate between four of the candidates last night and one of them called another a crack addict (which, I think is true, but 20 years ago). Now THAT is a good panel!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@johnheaney I agree with you and also think the advantages are that our minds are opened wider, we become more knowledgeable, and we’re less judgmental and more forgiving. The one I’m trying to figure out right now is pro life people who are also pro death penalty. And pro choice people who are also anti-death penalty. Seems like a conundrum to me.

And yes…let’s pencil in our own jaunt to Davos!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@johnheaney I agree with you and also think the advantages are that our minds are opened wider, we become more knowledgeable, and we’re less judgmental and more forgiving. The one I’m trying to figure out right now is pro life people who are also pro death penalty. And pro choice people who are also anti-death penalty. Seems like a conundrum to me.

And yes…let’s pencil in our own jaunt to Davos!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@johnheaney I agree with you and also think the advantages are that our minds are opened wider, we become more knowledgeable, and we’re less judgmental and more forgiving. The one I’m trying to figure out right now is pro life people who are also pro death penalty. And pro choice people who are also anti-death penalty. Seems like a conundrum to me.

And yes…let’s pencil in our own jaunt to Davos!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago
@Doug_Davidoff I like the third way philosophy. I always work with my team to do the same…and to give me a few days to think about it and massage it in my brain. We usually come to a third way like that. I may still your verbiage. 🙂 The best example I have is more than three years ago, my Vistage Chair asked me if I could run my business online. At the time, I actually said, “There is no way. We’re client service-focused and most of what we do is about relationships. How would we do that online?” Well,… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago
@Doug_Davidoff I like the third way philosophy. I always work with my team to do the same…and to give me a few days to think about it and massage it in my brain. We usually come to a third way like that. I may still your verbiage. 🙂 The best example I have is more than three years ago, my Vistage Chair asked me if I could run my business online. At the time, I actually said, “There is no way. We’re client service-focused and most of what we do is about relationships. How would we do that online?” Well,… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago
@Doug_Davidoff I like the third way philosophy. I always work with my team to do the same…and to give me a few days to think about it and massage it in my brain. We usually come to a third way like that. I may still your verbiage. 🙂 The best example I have is more than three years ago, my Vistage Chair asked me if I could run my business online. At the time, I actually said, “There is no way. We’re client service-focused and most of what we do is about relationships. How would we do that online?” Well,… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@JamesDBurrell2 Wow Jamey. That’s quite insightful for someone who has a career of mistakes ahead of him! I like your analogy and I’m very happy the flower you drew me wasn’t a pink and brown mucky mess.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@JamesDBurrell2 Wow Jamey. That’s quite insightful for someone who has a career of mistakes ahead of him! I like your analogy and I’m very happy the flower you drew me wasn’t a pink and brown mucky mess.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@JamesDBurrell2 Wow Jamey. That’s quite insightful for someone who has a career of mistakes ahead of him! I like your analogy and I’m very happy the flower you drew me wasn’t a pink and brown mucky mess.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@FollowtheLawyer And the old adage goes…

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@FollowtheLawyer And the old adage goes…

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 3 months ago

@FollowtheLawyer And the old adage goes…

RachelFordHutman
RachelFordHutman
5 years 3 months ago

I agree and this is what two-way symmetrical communication demands. We need to have open, back and worth dialogue where both sides listen to the other instead of claiming victory at the outset. This is also what is missing currently in American politics and why so many people feel apathetic.

RachelFordHutman
RachelFordHutman
5 years 3 months ago

I agree and this is what two-way symmetrical communication demands. We need to have open, back and worth dialogue where both sides listen to the other instead of claiming victory at the outset. This is also what is missing currently in American politics and why so many people feel apathetic.

RachelFordHutman
RachelFordHutman
5 years 3 months ago

I agree and this is what two-way symmetrical communication demands. We need to have open, back and worth dialogue where both sides listen to the other instead of claiming victory at the outset. This is also what is missing currently in American politics and why so many people feel apathetic.

RachelFordHutman
RachelFordHutman
5 years 3 months ago

I agree and this is what two-way symmetrical communication demands. We need to have open, back and forth dialogue where both sides listen to the other instead of claiming victory at the onset. This is also what is missing currently in American politics and why so many people feel apathetic towards the political system.

RachelFordHutman
RachelFordHutman
5 years 3 months ago

I agree and this is what two-way symmetrical communication demands. We need to have open, back and forth dialogue where both sides listen to the other instead of claiming victory at the onset. This is also what is missing currently in American politics and why so many people feel apathetic towards the political system.

RachelFordHutman
RachelFordHutman
5 years 3 months ago

I agree and this is what two-way symmetrical communication demands. We need to have open, back and forth dialogue where both sides listen to the other instead of claiming victory at the onset. This is also what is missing currently in American politics and why so many people feel apathetic towards the political system.

bdorman264
bdorman264
5 years 3 months ago
@ginidietrich You are so far out there it’s laughable at times, it’s easy to have an opposing view from that dribble you are passing off as content…………just kidding of course, out of all the ‘stuff’ I have to wade through, yours makes plenty of sense and that is why I keep coming back…………like a bad penny………. I’m more of a harmonious/relator type from strengthsfinder so I don’t seek out opposing views or try to be a devil’s advocate. However, I will listen as I do want to know what the ‘other side’ is thinking. I’m a big boy, I can… Read more »
bdorman264
bdorman264
5 years 3 months ago
@ginidietrich You are so far out there it’s laughable at times, it’s easy to have an opposing view from that dribble you are passing off as content…………just kidding of course, out of all the ‘stuff’ I have to wade through, yours makes plenty of sense and that is why I keep coming back…………like a bad penny………. I’m more of a harmonious/relator type from strengthsfinder so I don’t seek out opposing views or try to be a devil’s advocate. However, I will listen as I do want to know what the ‘other side’ is thinking. I’m a big boy, I can… Read more »
bdorman264
bdorman264
5 years 3 months ago
@ginidietrich You are so far out there it’s laughable at times, it’s easy to have an opposing view from that dribble you are passing off as content…………just kidding of course, out of all the ‘stuff’ I have to wade through, yours makes plenty of sense and that is why I keep coming back…………like a bad penny………. I’m more of a harmonious/relator type from strengthsfinder so I don’t seek out opposing views or try to be a devil’s advocate. However, I will listen as I do want to know what the ‘other side’ is thinking. I’m a big boy, I can… Read more »
johnfalchetto
5 years 3 months ago
Gini, are you saying we should write more post that disagree with other bloggers? 😉Seriously, love the mindset. I do feel like some blogs are run a bit like fan clubs. The person writes ‘I ate peanut butter for breakfast’ and 50 people comment saying ‘this is so deep I am going to name my first born after you.’On the other it needs to be a two way street. I commented a post of an A list blogger which I respect but didn’t agree with on that specific blog and only received snarky remarks in return. Not much of a… Read more »
johnfalchetto
5 years 3 months ago
Gini, are you saying we should write more post that disagree with other bloggers? 😉Seriously, love the mindset. I do feel like some blogs are run a bit like fan clubs. The person writes ‘I ate peanut butter for breakfast’ and 50 people comment saying ‘this is so deep I am going to name my first born after you.’On the other it needs to be a two way street. I commented a post of an A list blogger which I respect but didn’t agree with on that specific blog and only received snarky remarks in return. Not much of a… Read more »
johnfalchetto
5 years 3 months ago
Gini, are you saying we should write more post that disagree with other bloggers? 😉Seriously, love the mindset. I do feel like some blogs are run a bit like fan clubs. The person writes ‘I ate peanut butter for breakfast’ and 50 people comment saying ‘this is so deep I am going to name my first born after you.’On the other it needs to be a two way street. I commented a post of an A list blogger which I respect but didn’t agree with on that specific blog and only received snarky remarks in return. Not much of a… Read more »
dino_dogan
dino_dogan
5 years 3 months ago

The fact that these dbags get together is more scary to me than Saw 3D. You think you have control over what goes on in your life? Davos begs to differ.

dino_dogan
dino_dogan
5 years 3 months ago

The fact that these dbags get together is more scary to me than Saw 3D. You think you have control over what goes on in your life? Davos begs to differ.

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