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Why I Prefer Criticism
When you coach someone or conduct a performance appraisal, where do you tend to focus? Probably on “opportunities for improvement,” right? Sure, you mention some positive things, but we’ll bet you spend much more time talking about faults and shortcomings.
Embracing criticism is not everybody’s piece of cake. Numerous times the world seems so dependent on feedbacks, reviews, and opinions that you encounter various audience people telling you how to do things better. Sometimes it gets hard to deal with. Other times, it’s not all bad news always because sometimes criticism can be used to offer you a competitive edge.
Read along and find out how you can score well through the criticism sprees falling your way!
Criticism – a form of communication
If someone has a criticism it means they want to give you feedback on what you’re doing – that means an opening to acquire more about the person who you’re functioning for and how to transform them into a satisfied customer or audience member.
Take a moment to think before you respond to what they’re saying – in business, working with someone patient and able to receive and act on criticism means both parties can work towards a better outcome and handle the situation productively.
Feedback helps make your product stronger
If you think you’re doing a task right but don’t get feedback from anyone on it, how do you know for sure that what you’re doing is any good? Whether you’re selling or performing, whether it’s a product or service, listening and acting on those honest views will tell you precisely what’s good and what can be done better. Use that information to change your performance, product, service, exhibition, or event – sometimes it will make for uncomfortable listening but it can make your product stronger as a final result.
It forces you to think about how you work
Constructive criticism can guide your way towards good practice. Try to be objective and look at what you’re providing as though it’s not yours. This can be particularly difficult when you’re deeply involved in a project but, if you can take a step back, you might see how to improve your way of working and avoid any negative outcomes down the road.
The right kind of criticism can give you an advantage
Think about the scenario: if you can get a customer to tell explain how to give them the perfect product or service, that’s information you’ve got that no one else has. That puts you at an advantage over anyone else in your zone and can be used again in the future to get things right, even faster than anyone around you. Find ways to squeeze that information from your client or audience and get them to tell you what they want.
Use positive language, elicit a solution
It is vitally important to choose the language wisely that you use to respond to the criticism that you receive. Avoid initiating any argument. Instead, turn the exchange into a discussion about how to resolve the problem. This practice will put you in a position to get rewarded and you’ll waste less time guessing how to put things right. Turn your words into action to show that you can listen to feedback, respond accurately, and still get the job done without any frowns.
People wouldn’t criticize if they didn’t think you were worth criticizing
Look around and you will see tons of things worth critiquing out there. However, not everyone takes the time to criticize things that they don’t agree with. Why? That’s because they don’t feel that those things are worth their criticisms at all. If someone is criticizing you, that probably means that there’s something about you that is worth them taking the time to criticize.
Take a look at people like Oprah Winfrey to Steve Jobs, they have large groups of detractors. It’s because they stand for a great message — a message that shakes others and stirs their souls and moves lives.
As Winston Churchill says, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
Criticism lets you see things in a different light
Criticism arises as a result of a conflict in thoughts. You did or said something and someone has a different opinion and hence the criticism. Hence, whenever you receive criticism, you are hearing a different viewpoint — one which you may have never considered before. This criticism helps you see things from a different angle, hence raising your awareness.
Don’t take it personally
If someone doesn’t like your work right away, don’t take it personally. Don’t retaliate with a knee-jerk even if you think you are being unfairly criticized.
There will be occasions when you feel the criticism is personal and, now and then, you’ll be right. People are fallible and it’s important to remember to not be offended by someone’s remarks. However, a good professional can take criticism on board and not respond as though it’s a personal attack. They are also able to make it work to their advantage or, if all else fails, politely conclude the project and leave with their reputation intact.
Have we missed out any? Let us drop by your comments and tell how you handle criticism.