Sensitivity training

30 years from now, we will be looking back at how exciting it was to be alive in 2016. Everything became smart: phones, cars, TV’s, thermostats. Social media erupted. VR opened up new doors we didn’t know existed. (And soon AI would do the same.) Collaboration projects like Linux, YouTube, and Kickstarter challenged the status-quo and changed the way whole industries operated.

But it will also be known as an age of sensitivity. We have a culture of shaming. A time when conversations were controlled by political correctness, fear of being sued or fired, bloated media, and hidden agendas.

If we are going to fix the culture – and make it something we are going to be proud of – here are the rules:

  1. If the product, good, service, or idea is for everyone – it’s for no one.
  2. Be okay for others not to accept your gift. If it’s not for them, it’s not for them.
  3. Sometimes we don’t get the joke. Either it’s a bad joke or your delivery was all wrong.
  4. Who decides what is offensive? We do. With one click we can move onto something else.
  5.  It’s not how big you can be, but how small. Find a tribe that is waiting to hear what you have to say.
  6. Make better art. No one wants to read your junk. Put something out there that you wouldn’t mind presenting to a board of directors.
  7. Once it’s online it will never go away. People and opinions change over time (including yours).
  8. Re-read rule #1.
  9. Making something doesn’t mean you are entitled to our attention. Attention is finite. Trust is the new currency. You have to earn it.
  10. Take two breathes and walk away before you write something that you’ll regret.

People are going to say outrageous things. Leave the trolls and critics alone. It’s not your job to teach them a lesson.

Remember: It’s okay to disagree but don’t be disagreeable.