I am noticing that I take criticism personally and try to fix it. I have a client who doesn’t like the way we charge for an ancillary service. I wrote her about why we charge for something our competitors offer for free. She got mad and said we lost her business so I called her. She said we disagreed about principle when I said we disagreed about value. I said we might not be a fit for her and thought it would be left at that. She then reported me to her broker on ethics (she believes that charging for a service others are offering for free is unethical). When the broker reached out, i had an urge to return the call right away but couldn’t because of business hours, which gave me the opportunity to look at my brain. Here’s a model I’m in
C – client reported my company to her broker
T – I’m not doing anything wrong
F – defensive
A – thinking of all the ways I’m right, judging the client as ridiculous, venting about the situation, staying preoccupied with it when I’m with my family so I’m not present with them
R – I’m not doing things I don’t think are right
I’ve tried asking myself how she’s right, which leads me down a rabbit hole of how I didn’t do my job to show her the value and beat myself up about how I could have done better introducing the new service. When I go deeper, I like my reasons for charging for the service, I like the value it brings my clients, and I like how much effort I’ve put into trying to educate my clients about it. That leaves me feeling justified, which is another version of me vs other human and not how I want to show up for the call with the broker.
I think where I’d like to get is curious or empathetic. I’m very resistant to thoughts that might get me there, like I’m protecting myself somehow. It’s interesting that I think I’m okay losing a client over a disagreement in price, but not over a disagreement in moral principles. And I’m mad at her for trying to make me lose more business at her firm by reporting me to the broker.
This isn’t the only area in my life I take things personally, which I see isn’t serving me and feel lost in shifting it.