Have you ever been critiqued? Have you ever received negative feedback?
It can be hard to hear something negative about yourself or your endeavors. It’s completely normal to want to plug your ears, dive under the covers and refuse to come out until you feel better. Unfortunately, there’s rarely a blanket handy when these situations arise in real life, so it’s vital to learn how to handle them gracefully and develop a desire to learn from mistakes.
Everyone will be criticized at some point. It’s an inevitable part of life and business, but the way that you react to it will speak volumes about your maturity and skill as an entrepreneur. You don’t have to fear feedback or criticism. In fact, it can help you grow and build in ways you never imagined. Here’s how you can leverage the negative stuff and turn it into something positive:
ASK for feedback. It’s a scary thought, asking people what they honestly think of you or your business. However, people feel valued and respected when their opinion is sought, and they are most likely to provide honest and thoughtful feedback when they are asked.
Something to consider is this: if people aren’t saying things to your face, they may be saying it to their friends, family and on social media. The best and most efficient way to handle problems is to communicate directly with your clients and customers.
Listen well. Don’t interrupt. When receiving criticism, listen completely before you respond. Value what the other person is saying. In many cases, what you are hearing can be valuable insight into how you can improve, if you CHOOSE to hear it that way.
Thoughtfully consider improvement. Don’t dismiss what you are hearing, but rather “chew on it” for a bit and find the truth in what has been communicated. You may be hurt, surprised or even feel defensive, but that doesn’t mean that what you heard wasn’t true or helpful.
Smart business owners take criticism and use it to build toward their future success. There is no reason to hide from feedback. Instead, seek it out, use it to improve and make changes that will benefit your employees, yourself and your business.