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Building Thick Skin

November 18, 2011

Thick skin is important in order to . Some form of criticism will always accompany new ideas. After all, it’s oftentimes easier to criticize and point out flaws in an idea than it is to embrace it.

Women tend to perceive feedback differently than men, due to their higher emotional intelligence. Women have been socialized to act by consensus in order to keep harmony and prevent conflict. Is this really necessary in the workplace? Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot, doesn’t think so:

“I’m willing to be disliked over a decision if I think it’s the right thing to do. I’m willing to have people have to trust me and come along. I don’t necessarily need to ask 10 people their opinion,” she tells mediabistro founder Laurel Toby. “It’s really something I try to teach all my staff to do. You’re only going to get in trouble for not making a decision and for not making actions happen, not for making the wrong decision.”

Here is the full video of Carley Roney’s advice to businesswomen.

I whole-hardheartedly agree with Ms. Roney. Acquiring consensus from a team of 10 can lead to mulling, which summons the lizard brain. Sure, I understand the need for consensus in the workplace. But more often than not, consensus prevents actions from happening right away. A project with looming deadlines needs actionable items, not stagnation.

In order to take the risks associated with challenging the lizard brain, thick skin is crucial. And frightfully important. New ideas and workflows don’t always receive standing ovations. Getting thick skin leads to growth and development. Build yours today.