I read Mark Batterson's blog every day. One of his recent comments:
Consider the source.
That isn't just a sacred principle in journalistic integrity. It's one key to healthy leadership. An insult from a fool might actually be a compliment and a compliment from a fool might actually be an insult. Consider the source!
When you get feedback on a message, you need to consider the source. If someone shares something they shouldn't know or shouldn't share, consider the source. If someone has a complaint or a compliment, consider the source.
Let me give you a few examples.
If someone has a complaint about our weekend gatherings, the first thing I want to know is whether or not they are inviting their unchurched friends. If they aren't, there is a much greater likelihood that the complaint is selfish in nature. How vested is that person in NCC? If they haven't invested blood, sweat and tears into NCC then it doesn't carry as much weight. If they are a serious shareholder, I'm all ears. Is the person generally positive or negative? If they are generally negative, the complaint might just be a personal projection of their own issues. And finally, what is the spirit behind the compliment or criticism?
What I'm getting at is this: consider the source. It'll save you a ton of headaches and heartaches.