No-one likes to hear that they’re bad at something. However, when it comes to business, criticism is a vital tool. Entrepreneurs can use criticism to their advantage if they’re willing to listen to it, rather than ignore it. Every business owner should be a learner. The world of business changes and develops all of the time, so we must change and develop with it. Here’s how you can gracefully accept criticism and turn it into a positive for your business.
It’s Not Personal
When it comes to business, the majority of criticism will be about the way you work or the products you work with. You will come across the odd person who criticises for no good reason, but you’ll learn to differentiate between the criticism you should take on board and the criticism you should completely ignore. Just gracefully thank the person for their input and make any necessary changes.
Not everyone will give feedback easily, but what they have to say may be important. If the people around you know that you’re open to feedback and they’re not going to get a retort in reply, they may be more forthcoming. This way, you’ll be able to ask for details that could help you to become a better business manager and your business to thrive. Being approachable often means you can avoid rude and unnecessary criticism because your open-door policy disarms any anger.
Ask for Help
You may receive some feedback saying that your business is out-dated. Businesses need to change with the times to stay relevant. Whether your product needs up-dating, your business isn’t using up to date tech or you need branding help from a corporate branding agency, you need to listen. If someone is trying to tell you, you need to allow the business to develop and grow, perhaps it’s time to get some specialist knowledge that you and your employees can make the most of.
When other business owners or your clients come to you with feedback, they like to know it’s been taken on board. Letting them know that their feedback has been received with grace is just the first step. If their feedback leads to a change in your business, however big or small, let them know. In fact, it’s best to let everyone know. Consider using social media to announce the new change and thank your clients for their feedback. It’s another way of showing that you accept constructive criticism and people are welcome to send comments, good or bad.
Return the Favour
If the criticism you receive is from another business or colleague you work with, don’t let it all go one way. People often don’t criticise others they work with because they know they aren’t perfect and they don’t want criticism in return. Create an atmosphere where criticism is received and given gracefully. If you and your colleagues can work harmoniously while ironing out all the kinks, you could just create the perfect team. Here’s how to give criticism without offending.