Voice Veto Vote


I shared these thoughts at my day job, GigSalad, last Friday.

I thought I’d put them here.

People’s opinions affect us in different ways.

We need to decide how to filter people’s opinions and when to decide to respond.

Who gets a:

  • Voice? The broadest group of people, these are the influences that we trust, believe, and respect. They may be friends, family, co-workers, authors, activists, or other leaders. We respect these opinions and take them into account.
  • Vote? Narrow than the Voices, this group helps frame and shape our decisions. They help us decide life. Not every voice gets a vote.
  • Veto? Who in your life gets to say “No” to you? This handful of people has the right and permission to challenge your decisions and choices and discover the best possible life path. This group typically includes family, spouses and partners, your closest friends or mentors, and spiritual or ethical teachings. Gather people around you who are willing to disagree. Challenge and dissent should never be confused with betrayal or disloyalty.

How do I decide who makes it into each group?

Are they:

  • Informed? Do they know you? People who influence you should know you well, beyond shallow social interaction. They should understand and get you at s fundamental level, and their values and concerns are aligned or compatible with your own.
  • Invested? Do they care? Empathetic personalities care deeply about the outcomes of their influence. People whose opinion we consider ought to be willing to walk with through the consequences and ought to have demonstrated their concern and commitment to our best.
  • Invited? To put it simply, did you ask for their opinion? If someone is freely offering their estimations of your finances, parenting, or work from the outside of your life, don’t spend too much time worrying about it. Ask yourself if it is true or not, then move on to the people you let in.

Opinions are humanity’s greatest renewable resource. We’ll never run out of them. Taking the time to consider who gets to influence us is a valuable exercise for personal health and peace.


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