A Tip for Handling Criticism

Ugh! Not another complaint… That’s how it may feel to you, but let me give you another way to look at criticism.

Be appreciative that they are giving their criticism to you and not blabbing to a hundred other otherwise prospective customers or friends. (Or worse, posting to blogs, Facebook and elsewhere!) Plus, for every suggestion you hear, there are probably a hundred customers or others who may be thinking it, but are not telling you.

I’m always appreciative of feedback (criticism), presuming that my customers and friends, by speaking up, are actually interested in helping me to improve my products, service and business. And my own effectiveness.

Even if you may have heard the same criticism from several others before, enthusiastically acknowledge their ideas as if they are the first (or only) one to tell you. “Wow, thank you for telling me. That’s a good idea! I really appreciate your contacting me and telling me directly!”

Be patient (not defensive) and hear them out (because you want to know everything they’re thinking). Even ask, “Can you give me any more detail…?”

Most people love to feel like they have made a contribution. In fact, if you get a similar message from several people you can tell that perhaps it is you and not just one other person out there with an attitude. To take this a step further, I wrote in Business Black Belt, about getting the messages from the Universe — When I get a similar message from 3 independent sources (someone speaking to me, someone else speaking to me, a song on the radio, a bumper sticker, an overheard conversation, etc.) I presume that the message is for me and that I must act on it ASAP. They usually start as a whisper like this, but if I fail to accept the message, it gets louder and eventually something costly and perhaps painful ensues.

Try it… listen and look for the messages. What are they telling you to do? Avoid it. See what happens next.