Dealing with Negative Evaluations

—Kelly Nickel

How do you process and come to peace with negative evaluations after a presentation? Even if there are 90% who give very high marks, how do you keep from being consumed by the thought that some people rated it poorly? Do you adjust to try to please everyone, or should it just be accepted that there may always be some who rate you poorly? More than anything, I would be interested in hearing different ways that other speakers internally process and move forward and not dwell on those negatives.

— Tim Durkin

“You must accept rejection and reject acceptance.” —Ray Bradbury

— Robert Alper

And the answer is...hemorrhoids.

I’m a stand-up comic, and even if 300 people are falling off their chairs laughing, it’s the one guy with a frown who catches and holds my attention. I just tell myself that, pour soul, he has hemorrhoids, and his lack of response has nothing to do with me.

— Bob Wagner

I have come to understand that there are people out there you couldn’t please if you washed their feet and their dog. You may remind them of an ex spouse or a friend that they have an issue with or they may have been sent to the seminar and came with a chip on their shoulder, looking for a reason to hate being there. I go into my presentation or training expecting to see negative remarks from at least one person and then when I get it I say to myself, “Yep, there you are.” If I don’t receive any, all the better. The same goes for the GREAT evaluations, you may remind them of someone they love, you may have said just the right thing, or they may even be attracted to you. All you have to do is smile at some folks and you get a high score. Read them, see if there is any truth in their comments and compare them to the majority. If you bend over backwards trying to please them, you will most likely upset the majority. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.

— Dick Caldwell

Cavett Robert used to say, “discard the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the evaluations, read the rest.” Another thing that helped me is to remember: The audience is evaluating your presentation, that day, not you or what you’ll become.

— Mike Cioppa

I simply remind myself that over 99% of the audience isn’t really qualified to evaluate my performance! That being said if I see a trend developing I will look more seriously at the issue... otherwise I chalk it up to the “jerk” factor.

— Mitch Carnell

I think all evaluations are valuable; however, there are always those one or two that are way out of line from all the others. I think of them the same way I think about editors. One will not like my article or book proposal and the next one will want more. If one criticism continues to turn up, you may need to examine it more closely. Remember you are the expert in what you do. Don’t allow one or two people to draw you off course.

— Sandi Knudson

There are people who just cannot bring themselves to give someone else high ratings, even if they really did enjoy your presentation. They may be wired to look for flaws. Focus on the ones you’ve helped instead and it gets easier to accept that people have different ideas.

In lieu of rating the presentation evaluations, (which really doesn’t help you understand why they didn’t rate you highly), I have been using an eval (gleaned from Sam Horn), that asks questions, such as: What did you like most about the presentation? How could this presentation be improved? What was the most useful idea for you? Comments on the program/instructor.

— Marlene Ward

In all facets of communication we meet people we like or don’t like. The same can happen with a delegate. The negativity is not about you but their lack of self-esteem. Focus your time and thinking on the people who appreciated your magnificent effort.

— Michael Soon Lee

Having given over 1,000 presentations in twenty years of professional speaking it’s clear that statistically there is a 2% “nut factor.” This means that no matter how great you are, in an audience of 100 two people will hate you because of something you wore, a word you said that emotionally “hooked” them or because you reminded them of someone they disliked. When I get negative comments with no real substance I just chalk it up to the nut factor. However, if I get several complaints about the same issue I may consider dumping that chartreuse tie!

— Kimberly Wulfert

I believe there is something useful in every comment I receive. There is so much benefit from post-event comments, if you don’t get bogged down in reading them as personal to you. (If they are personal attacks, rather than a criticism, talk to the person if possible, or assume you were an easy target and write it off as a projection.) Instead realize this person has taken the class or program for their own purpose and telling you how it didn’t fit their expectations is where the comment comes from. Sometimes in their comment is a jewel that I learn from and I definitely make changes accordingly. The internal process for me is this — I can improve and grow. I want to educate and serve the audience. If a change is needed as evidenced by the comment then I make it immediately and move on, sending them a silent — or verbal if possible — thank you. Conversely, I give a caring useful comment on post-event surveys when something good or bad moves me to action.

— Marv Marshall

There is no such thing as immaculate perception. What you see is what you thought before you looked. The evaluation is as much a reflection of the evaluator as it is of the person being evaluated (presenter). Learn from suggestions that will help you, but disregard the checked boxes. Example: the session was marked down because dessert was not served at lunch.

— Joyce Batty

It is not unusual to find a few people who are not happy with an otherwise excellent presentation. One or two can easily be ignored. However, I start to look for trends in topics or comments from which I can learn. Sometimes they can reveal good lessons for me.

— Helen Spielman

I get 98% positive evaluations, but when I get those negative ones, I feel a little bad that the writers didn’t enjoy or derive help in my workshop. I consider their words as an honest gift to make me think how I can reach people more effectively, but I don’t adjust to please everyone — that’s impossible. As a performance anxiety coach, I teach freeing oneself from needing the approval of others, dealing with criticism, and having self-confidence. I’ve developed these traits inside myself and I no longer dwell on or am consumed by what others think of my work. I focus on my own strengths and my goals and do what I do with the passion in my heart.

— Wagner Hazel

My husband and I are both speakers and admit that we are severely affected by any low evaluations even if they were a tiny exception.

He won’t look at the evaluations until the next day when he is rested and feels more separated from the event.

For me, it is particularly devastating when it comes as a surprise from someone who seemed perfectly satisfied during the event. In fact, many times the person giving a low score is exactly the one who came up to tell you how much they enjoyed your presentation or speech. I tell my audiences that all evaluations are taken to heart. What I ask them to do, if they are giving anything less than the excellent I am hoping for, to help me by being as specific as possible about what I should do to improve the rating for the next time. It doesn’t help us as a speaker to get a grade without a comment to help us understand it.

— Lin Morel

I handle the low evaluations by dropping the lowest and the highest evaluations. That balances it out and reminds me not to take myself too seriously, nor the comments of my participants. Opinions are like noses, we all have them! If more than three folks say the same thing, it merits consideration.

— Jane Atkinson

When receiving a rough evaluation, it’s important to first check in with the client. Did you meet their expectations? Did you get spin off? Typically 5% of an audience won’t like you. You could stand on your head and juggle plates and it wouldn’t matter. But if you’re getting more than 5%, there may be some lessons in those evaluations for you. Look for the common denominator and choose one thing to work on at your next speech. If your speech continues to improve then you cannot go wrong. If you’re getting a 95% approval rating, as my friend Mike Robbins says.... focus on the good stuff and let the rest go.

— Jim Bouchard

If you’re sincere and true to your message NEVER let a few bad evaluations take you off course. Not only is it a fact that you can’t please everyone, but there are always some people in an audience who won’t be pleased with anyone! If they had something of value to say they may be taking the same risks you are by sharing their thoughts and passions with the world.

If that doesn’t help here’s a technique from my life as a professional martial artist. Buy yourself a good heavy bag and a pair of gloves. If a bad evaluation really upsets you; transfer your rage to a good 5 rounds on the heavy bag with enough creative visualization to off-load your bad blood! Not only is this emotionally satisfying, you’ll get a great workout too!

— Orin Laney

After decades of presenting on college campuses and before technical audiences, I certainly agree that you can’t please everyone.

That said, people tend to mark evaluations consistently. Some will never say anything negative, so in their evaluations everything was basically wonderful. Some make everything the middle of the road, and a few are just sour on life. I find meaning in the deviations from the general tone of any given evaluation. If the audience as a whole is reasonably consistent in giving higher or lower marks in specific areas as compared to the rest, it doesn’t matter much if a given person expresses it as “even better than the rest” or “not so bad as the rest.” In short, the deviations apply to me, but the general tone of an individual applies to them and can be ignored.

— Jody Bagno

I am hired to give the same talk for several different regions of a large real estate company. I always read the evaluations hoping to pick up ideas that will really make the talk better. I usually get the overall ratings of “excellent” and “good” on most, except for a few. And there is always at least one person who rates me “fair.” I have often wondered if it is the same person following me to each talk. I laugh about it now and look for the “fair” ratings first. If evaluations have good advice, I consider it. If not, I toss them aside and remember that they are gifts to keep me humble and not arrogant, and then I enjoy the other gifts from other reviewers. The negative ones can be gifts. Like the one “fair” that told me how to correctly pronounce “Realtor,” not Real-Aaaa-tor. Thank goodness for that one!

— Julie Christiansen

Simple way to deal with negative evaluations: Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”

I suspect there is an element of truth in every negative evaluation. I seek to pinpoint that truth, and learn from it to make myself better. I used to take negative evaluations very personally, until I realized that being down on myself wasn’t making me better. If only a couple leave unsatisfied with the event, I focus on using their feedback to tweak my performances, but I rest in my gut feelings and the positive feedback about the overall success of the day. Now if 80% tell you that your program sucked, time to seriously re-evaluate!

One last tip: Deliver all your brochure promises, and let the audience know that you are speaking to the specific promises in the brochure or the flyer. They can’t accuse you of skipping topics, if you have just "announced" your coverage of the topic. This helps create accountability to the audience members who want to blame the speaker for their not getting what they came for, when in fact, they were too busy chatting privately to hear that all-important topic when it came up.

— Michael Mercer

Ask yourself if some bad ratings or comments stem from attendees’ (1) regional dislikes or (2) personal jealousy.

Regional dislike example: Recently, before a speech, an attendee walked up to me and loudly said, “A lot of people here are going to hate you!” I felt shocked, and asked why. He told me my tie and suspenders were the colors of the professional sports team that has a rivalry with that city’s team. I was amazed anyone would think that. But in case anyone else had the same concern, I decided to use an “anticipatory retaliatory reaction.” Specifically, I started my speech by lightheartedly saying, “I was told some people here will dislike my presentation, because my tie and suspenders are the colors of the [such-&-such] team. [Note: My comment got a big laugh.] Well, don’t worry, because I wear the same colors everywhere I speak — and it’s not because I favor one team over another.” Again, the audience gave a big laugh. So, I used the regional dislike to (a) start my speech with humor the audience enjoyed, and (b) get the audience on my side.

Professional jealousy example: Once, before delivering a seminar, an attendee walked up to me, and told me his academic degrees were somewhat similar to mine. Then he said, “I’m jealous that I’m not the speaker on this topic!” During my seminar, he basically threw a tantrum — he kept raising his hand to disagree. He was obnoxious. Finally, a few audience members spoke up, and said they agreed with me. He got embarrassed, and shut up. To end the ruckus he caused on a nicer note, I politely said to him in front of everyone, “If you want, please call me on the phone to discuss your ideas.” Fortunately, the program sponsor knew which evaluation form that obnoxious character filled out, and showed me he gave me negative ratings and comments, which I could have predicted from his nasty behavior.

Tip for speakers: Uncover audience members’ dislikes or jealousies that could result in negative ratings for your wonderful presentations. If you can, diplomatically and/or humorously mention the concern in such a way that it gets the audience on your side.

— Laura Benjamin

If comments or ratings on feedback forms get us all tied up in knots, I’d say stop handing them out. Instead, use a Sign-Up Form so folks can sign up for your newsletter, blog or RSS article feed. The danger of focusing too much on feedback forms is you begin to second-guess yourself. You may water down your program just to please the disgruntled and vocal few. Continue pursuing your "life’s work" — read, learn, and share your knowledge with courage, a generous spirit, and open heart — and you’ll have ’em eating out of your hand!

However, if the client insists on using their own evaluation, I’d encourage you not to look at them afterwards if it is going to cause such consternation. Perhaps my opinion is a strong one, but at some point you’ve got to be so confident that the information you’re sharing is beneficial for the majority that it would be cheating them to modify your program or (worse yet) leave the industry because of negative comments. Trainers who go into the cage with elephants and lions say that once you’ve lost your nerve, your life is at risk. In our case, I’d hate to see someone who has great stuff lose their nerve or try to be all things to all people because of a few negative comments. Everyone gets reviews: actors, writers, artists, and musicians. If they curtailed their artistic expression because of negative feedback, the world would be a less colorful place.

I found this interesting post about folks who are Twittering during a speaker’s session. Kinda puts a new perspective on the whole feedback thing, eh?

— George Torok

If you don’t want negative responses, don’t ask for them. Don’t allow them. Don’t create the expectation that it is acceptable or desired.

I discovered that the numbered rating system is a useless rating. It has nothing to do with the purpose of your presentation.

So I removed the following things from my feedback sheet: rating system, what they didn’t like, suggestions to improve — anything of that nature.

Now I simply ask, “What was the best idea that you got that you will use?”

If the client insists on using their evaluation, I ignore the numbers — unless they are good. Then I leverage them.

I am more interested in what the client thinks. I always ask the client, “Was that what you wanted?”

— Linda Evans

I pretend am writing a movie. Every negative eval goes into my “movie” pile. I need to anchor them in a secure place so they do swim around in my head. I don’t allow them out of the movie pile. When I realize this movie is full of negatives, it gets turned on its head and becomes hysterical. Can you imagine a 90 minute movie filled with this ridiculousness? Makes me shake my head and smile. Try it. Make your own horror movie. When you turn it into a spoof, you’ll crack yourself up!

— Sue Miller

Look for every single piece of feedback that, if implemented, would make your presentation more effective. Read your evals; learn from them. Everything else is interesting reading but should not diminish your self-esteem in any way.

In my work, I maintain a goal of “making a positive difference,” and I believe I succeed with my audiences. That is REALLY what I care about. “Pleasing people” is secondary. (Knowing your audience is the key to pleasing your audience, by the way.)

There is an obvious difference between a speaker who has herself on her mind and a speaker who has the audience on her mind. Go with the latter.

In essence, gain truth from your evals, make adjustments that align with your goals, and just keep getting better and better! Best wishes!

— Bob Prentice

After reading several posts in the last couple of weeks on the TOTM. I was thinking gosh I really haven’t had many negative comments on evaluations over the last 25 years. Then yesterday I got an email summary from a project that I had last Spring. Sure enough there were 5 “fairly good” negative comments. Ouch! I was humbled quickly.

I wrote back to my client that I need this kind of feedback to keep me humble. I am much more grounded today. Thought I would share this recent experience with the SNN audience, I am a better man today.

— John Kinde

When you use humor in your presentation you face something worse than written feedback. You receive an evaluation in “real time.” Either they laugh or they don’t. And when you deliver a laugh line and they don’t laugh it can throw you off stride. My mental-mind-set is to remember that “if they don’t laugh, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t funny.” It’s important not to judge the intentions or motivations of the audience. Often they ARE enjoying your humor but for some other reason they aren’t laughing. You COULD be bombing...but deal with it later. Avoid doing the autopsy of your talk while you’re still on the platform! Assume the best and it will help keep your energy up.

— Elaine Fogel

Although it’s easy to take a few negative comments personally, it may possibly be attributed to extraneous reasons. Here are some possibilities:

  • Perhaps the session description wasn’t accurate enough and we didn’t meet people’s expectations. It may be time to review the program copy to ensure it reflects what’s in our content.
  • We may be dealing with people who participated only because their supervisors requested it. In that case, they may not be invested in the topic or session.
  • Some people may be going through personal turmoil or strife in their lives, and unable to listen to, or absorb, new content.
  • Depending on where our sessions fall on a conference program, some people may be exhausted by the time it’s our turn to speak. This can certainly affect their openness to our presentations.
  • We may be dealing with people’s egos. There are always going to be people who think they know better than the speaker, or have already attended a previous session on the same topic.
  • There may be people in the audience who actually DO know more than we do on our topic. That can lead to a restless and bored participant.

The bottom line? If 90-95% of evaluations are positive, we should read the few negative comments to see if there is valuable information we can glean. However, we should also remember that may be many other reasons for those comments.

— Darci Lang

Well you asked a question close to my heart. My message is called “Focus on the 90%” and I actually tell stories in my presentations about dealing with the 10% evaluations that do not go well. I am blessed with wonderful feedback from my audience members but there is always a few that can really shake you up.

After a really connected presentation to a group of women an audience member wrote on my evaluation form “You sucked and your hair is too big!” yikes! So after I recovered from that I now sort my “constructive” comments, my (10%) evaluation forms into two piles #1. Is there some truth to this — is there something to learn?. I have learned that there is sometimes truth in the 10%, constructive evaluation form. Ie) you need to slow down a bit, you trail off at the end of a story etc. These evaluation forms have helped me to grown and learn as a speaker. or #2 I sort them into the “you sucked” pile where there is nothing to learn and we need to let it go.

If their comments are just downright ... mean, I simply put those ones in the “sucked” pile. There is always going to be someone who is not happy with your message, your style , your delivery etc.

I also have to look at my self esteem. Why does it still bother me that someone does not like the message? Perhaps it is just my hope that everyone will like me. We all know that is not reality. It is impossible to please everyone.

The way I look at it, if we as speakers have the courage to get up and share our messages, we have to have the courage to “catch back” what they think too.

Most of our clients only achieve 90% client satisfaction in their businesses and they are happy with that. Are we?

— Jay Edgar

It’s helpful to understand a bit about how the brain works to be more peaceful about “negative” evaluations.

The Reticular Activation System (RAS) augments negative incoming messages. This is an adaptive part of our brain, but sometimes we find it troublesome. If you go back in our history, imagine two cave couples eating really sweet raspberries. They hear a saber-tooth tiger roar nearby. One couple doesn’t care — these things taste too good! The other couple is frightened and runs. Guess which ones survived? Guess which ones we’re descended from? You got it — the “scaredy cats.”

Today we don’t have to beware of tigers very often, so the negative messages that get augmented usually involve emotions or self-worth. You outlined what the RAS does in your question: 90% can be positive, yet we think about the 10% negative on the drive home. And if anyone has experiences of shame in their earlier life, they will have even more challenge with this. One of our instructors recently shared the results of a course she taught. Her evals “slipped” from previous courses, so that they only averaged 8-9/10. Eight or nine out of ten! Should this really be cause for concern?

First, is there any valuable feedback you can learn from? Then learn! Next, my suggestion is to simply understand that this reaction is the RAS at work. Consider it your internal protector (we call it El Protecto in the work we do. Thank El Protecto for giving you the warning and assure yourself you’re ok, do valuable work, etc. Find a confidant, friend of coach and ask for some strokes. Set the negative evals aside and read all the positive ones again!

In terms of human nature, yes there will often be those who rate speakers ungraciously. If you are interested in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), these folks are often the Mismatchers: their minds gravitate toward finding mistakes and things that aren’t consistent. I myself am a very strong Mismatcher naturally (although I like to think I offset this with some graciousness ). Mismatchers make great proofreaders, accountants, etc., and they can be brutal on evaluation forms. It’s simply how their minds work. And, of course, there will be folks who have their own level of pain, and attempt to pass it on to others. Bless them and move on. If you feel there is truly no value in the feedback, let it go.

If this is a very serious problem, it would be a good idea to hire a coach, work with a therapist or do some emotional healing work on the underlying issue that’s getting plugged in (e.g., “Mom was always critical of my school work” or “Dad said I couldn’t throw a ball worth a darn.”). I’d be willing to bet that what bothers us when we read negative evals is never the eval itself — it’s the older memory that’s getting kicked up. Consider it a gift to have the issue brought to your awareness so that you can do something about it!

— Diana Royce Smith

It’s time to confess — before I began to speak much, and even after, I tended to evaluate the speakers in ways that (now) I perceive as hard and negative.

My-not-so-fractured logic for this was that a speaker gets no pass from me on the basic skills that should be mastered prior to setting foot on the podium. I come for content. Period.

1) Many speakers have some very bad habits, and it is painful for me to be an audience for them.


Something like this is all too common, in the more-than-we-need-to- hear department. This is from a name you’d all recognize, no duh. “I just stopped in here to speak today on the way to airport, didn’t take time to shower, but I have a big presentation tomorrow in NYC to some folks who are very important, so bear with me”. My reaction as a member of the audience: Pardon me — I long ago stopped being chopped liver. The H-E-double hockey sticks I’ll bear with you! I get annoyed just thinking about it again. NEVER denigrate your audience!

“Is this thing on?” Didn’t you check? Anything you say will let a sound tech fix you up, so whatever you do say, don’t say that.

You can no doubt think of other bad habits.

2) Not being on your game as a speaker:


Verbalizing your mistaken understanding/recollection of the group, the city, the key facts or issues involved in your presentation, today’s headlines, the day of the week, your position in the conference or event etc.

Not knowing your own stuff. Letting your audience become aware you’ve lost your place or stride in an ungraceful way.

3) Poor communication skills:

Examples: Not speaking into your mic, repeated fig leaf posture, back to the audience for no good reason, gesturing from your perspective instead of your audiences’, losing your way through your own interactive component, etc.

Now, as to flopping on content, there may be some legitimate complaints. I try hard to analyze what I’m getting back dispassionately. Often, it’s more about the audience member/participant than about me, and I try to just let that go.

If I hit what I was asked to hit, or what I learned was to be my target audience, but there were some few who didn’t fit that mode and let me know about it, that’s as it is.

But it can be about me. If I didn’t hit what I was asked to hit — then I take those comments to heart.

Did I anticipate the correct level of expertise or interests accurately? Were my stories accessible and relevant to the audience? Was my humor worth the time it took? Did they at least go away with 3 pearls (things they didn’t know before that are immediately useable), etc.

Sometimes those who critique respond well (for them, but more importantly, for me) to contact and individual interaction. If they seem to have a point, and I know how to contact them, I sometimes do. I’ve learned how to improve my presentations from such effort.

And grow a thicker skin ....

— Jessica Setnick

I am so relieved to hear that someone else has this mean perfectionist living in their head. I used to read my evaluations the second I left the room and obsess over the one person who wrote something negative to the point that I actually stopped using evaluations for a while. (I even considered quitting giving speeches just to avoid the evaluations! It was that painful.)

When I was informed that to be properly credentialed I was required to give evaluations, I panicked. I asked my workshop partner what she did for evaluations and was SHOCKED to learn that her evaluation questions are styled to give qualitative answers that skew toward helpful information rather than leaving someone an opening to tell “what they didn’t like” about the presentation. To my mind, this was stacking the deck, but she did it, so I tried it. Now my evaluation questions are

  1. What did you like best about Eating Disorders Boot Camp?
  2. What will you use when you go back to work Monday and
  3. How could Eating Disorders Boot Camp be improved?

If I am feeling particularly vulnerable emotionally, I will switch to 3) What would you tell someone who is considering attending Eating Disorders Boot Camp but isn’t sure?

I realized that the way I was structuring my evaluations in the past was a set-up. Using quantitative data, the only acceptable rating for me was 100%. I had to stop looking to the evaluations for reassurance that I am “good enough” and determine in my mind that I am good enough already. My self-worth does not depend on if everyone likes me. Some people will appreciate what I have to say and others won’t, and that is not something that I have control over. I choose to put my information out there, what is done with it after that is their business. I used to think that it was my responsibility to convince everyone that I was right in order to get my A+. Now my approach is that I provide a service, an excellent service of course, but not one that can possibly fill every single participant’s every need. Once I changed my mental approach, I no longer thought of qualitative evaluations as a cop-out, a cheesy way to avoid getting a bad grade by claiming that grades don’t count. I actually get helpful information to fine tune my workshop and testimonial quotes I can use for marketing.

Now when I give a presentation for an organization with a standard evaluation form, I receive the summary of qualitative answers, but I am no longer looking for that perfect score. Don’t get me wrong, I still like getting very high marks, but I don’t obsess over the statistically insignificant portion who scored me lower than perfect. And I won’t lie and tell you that I don’t look at the other speakers’ marks as well (if included — which I think they should not be), and I do love to see that my scores are the highest. But after each presentation, when the adrenaline has subsided and I can think about the event clearly, I choose my own take on how it went. I review it in my mind — “Oops, I forgot to say xyz, but no one knows that; I answered the questions really well; I gave a lot of good information; etc.” Then when I get the evaluations, they are simply information, because I have already formulated my opinion of the presentation.

My major strategy here was to stop looking at evaluations as participants’ opportunity to approve or disapprove of me. I had to really rearrange things in my mind so that I am not in high school and my grade, self-worth, etc., depend upon if I get good evaluations and worse, if people like me. But instead I am a grown professional, confident that I provide a service that is helpful to most who attend, and evaluations are no longer the way I reassure myself that I am “good enough.” It is a much better place to be.

— Sarah Layton

Many years ago I gave my first four day public seminar with brand new material. One of the participants had been particularly annoying to everyone with his comments all week. (He was from another country and kept blasting the way we did things in the US). After the end of the last day he invited me for a cup of coffee. I had already peeked at his evaluation and noted that he had rated me “fair” so I had a knot in my stomach when I met with him. Well, he hired me to work with his company (Fortune 500). When I knew him well enough, I asked why the fair rating. He argued it was a good seminar. He didn’t have a clue why he down graded it. He left that company and years later is now re-employed by them. Every time he comes to this country he calls. I had dinner with him earlier this year.

Now, when I get a low rating, I look at them as a potential client. You never know.

— Michael Soon Lee

My expertise is training salespeople how to sell to multicultural customers. The issue of diversity always creates uncomfortable feelings and averse reactions in 1-2% of the audience. So I tell my clients in advance to expect at least this much negative feedback or I won’t have done my job. By putting it in this context the client, and I, are now looking forward to receiving these “love notes”. If you challenge people’s assumptions and push them to change you will always get some push back.

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