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Good Criticism is Like Gold

Critical feedback is a precious commodity.

Everyone doesn’t criticize. If you fail to satisfy some people’s expectations, they will write you off without a warning. They will simply choose to stop talking to you or stop buying from you while you’re left to figure out the “why” on your own.

Why would people do that?

For some, it’s because they don’t want to take the risk of their criticisms being misunderstood or disparaged. For some, it’s because they feel you should have already known better. For some, it’s because they don’t give second chances. For some, it’s because they don’t know how to express their feelings. For some, it’s because they don’t believe you’re capable of doing anything about their complaints. For some, it’s because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. There are an indefinite number of reasons why some people will refuse to let you know how they really feel.

It’s a rare and valuable thing to have someone tell you why they’re displeased with you or your work.

As uncomfortable as criticism may be, we should take it for what it is: a golden opportunity to get better, to feed off feedback, and to evaluate our actions not merely by their intentions but also by their results.

If you want to build confidence, keep the critics far away. If you want to build competence, keep the critics close.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Almost 40 years ago I came across a mission statement
    entitled “Wheeler Philosophy” (Wheeler Engineering
    Co.) if memory serves. It was a boldly typed out page
    explaining that the customer with a complaint is worth
    listening to. The customer who doesn’t reveal complaints
    and doesn’t come back to you is lost. And often it’s just
    a small issue that needs to be clarified. So welcome the
    customer who voices his concerns and tells you what he’s
    thinking.

    I found this to be very effective overall. Business and
    personal. Someone who voices concerns to me about
    something I said or did is asking for clarification. And it’s
    a great opportunity to do that.

    To be understood and visible is worthwhile.

    “The expressed life is worth living….”

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