According to Wikipedia*: “A peanut gallery was, in the days of vaudeville, a nickname for the cheapest and ostensibly rowdiest seats in the theater, the occupants of which were often known to heckle the performers.” This couldn’t be a more fitting description to the many voices we all carry around in our heads as we go about a daily lives!
Exhibit A: My manager asks me a simple question: “Do you want to present this to the board?” My eager-to-please voice screams yes in my ears before the question is even finished. My say-yes voice tells me I need to take advantage of the opportunity, even if it makes my palms sweat. My parenting voice reminds me that my kid’s tournament is this weekend, and I don’t’ want to miss it. And my childhood voice tells me that I’ll repeat what happened in my second-grade play and forget all of my lines! Geesh!
What can you do?
First, it’s impossible to shut off or ignore your peanut gallery. They are an aggressive bunch who will seep out in other ways, even if unrelated, until they are heard. But you can manage them.
When the heckling begins, listen to them—each and every one of them. Hear them out.
The trick is not to take immediate action from the peanut gallery. Rather than act on the first one or even the loudest one, treat each as an idea to consider or a voice that is teaching you something.
You are not a mere a performer for them but someone who can listen, observe, and, finally, decide on your own actions.
Over time, you’ll come to see your peanut gallery more like friends who ride along with you in the passenger’s seat while you’re at the wheel—exactly where you belong.
We hope this helps!
As always, reach out if we can be helpful to you as you continue on the path of igniting exceptional performance at your company.
The HAVEN Team
*Wikipedia, s.v. “Peanut gallery,” last modified June 21, 2022, 01:43, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut_gallery.