You are always going to be faced with criticism in one form or another, and not everyone is equipped to deal with it.
Its natural to find it tough to deal with criticism especially when it is something you have worked on so hard. It is important that we deal with the criticism so that it does not result in negativity which can affect not only your business, but your personal wellbeing as well.
Here are some tips for how to deal with criticism:
Who is it coming from?
Look at who the criticism is coming from. Is it from a family member or a friend who always complains about everything? Or is it from a customer, supplier or someone else you know (or don’t even know).
Understand who it is coming from. If it is only from one person yet thousands are using your products, it might not be a big issue (doesn’t mean you don’t need to look into it still).
Listen to them
This goes hand in hand with “Don’t react”. It is important that you listen to the person. Too often we listen to respond, instead of listening to understand. The mark of a great leader is one who can listen to understand without reacting.
Do not react when someone criticises the way you are doing something, your products, or goals. It is too easy to react and regret it later. Rather take a break and think on it. You can always respond later.
Think on it.
Usually you will find that if you left it for a few hours or even a day or two, you suddenly don’t feel as angry or upset as you initially were and this also gives you time to consider what was said.
Think on what the person said and consider it from all angles. Often you will find that the person’s comments were well founded and suddenly realise a gap you need to fix. Don’t beat yourself up, just thank the Universe for bringing it to your attention.
Remember, a person’s criticism comes from their PERCEPTION of your product, services, goals etc. You might have identified that you need to do in order to manage people’s perceptions better.
Don’t become defensive
Too often when criticised we become defensive and often lash out without thinking. Remember what we talked about above … perception … you are managing perception, not reality and each person’s perception might be different based on the information or experiences they have.
Once you realise this you can understand that their criticism comes from their point of view (perception) and that is what you need to manage.
It is also important to remember that you are not always right. Yes I know you do not want to hear that, but it is a fact.
Own up if you wrong
One of the most liberating things you will do is admitting when you are wrong. It will honestly feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders.
Take responsibility and own up to it if you are wrong. A true leader is not scared to admit he/she is wrong.
Learn from it
If you have made a mistake and owned up to it, then learn from it. Understand the detail of where you went wrong so that next time you do not make the same mistake.
We all make mistakes and we all fail, but its what we learn during those times that help us get up and climb higher than ever before.
Criticism is only a stepping board to success.
Always remember that the way you feel about something or the way you respond to something is completely in your hands. Do not let the opinion of others affect you negatively. Look at criticism as a positive .. as advice and opinions that could potentially allow you and your business to grow to even great heights.
On a final note
Never, ever give up on your dreams and goals due to criticism. The most successful people in the world were inundated with criticism, yet they persevered and would not give up on their goals and dreams. Look at where they are today. Stay positive, keep focused, reach for your dreams!