For many entrepreneurs, the time of receiving criticism on your actions may have passed. However, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. In fact, it may be hurting your success. There is evidence to suggest that the most successful people are those who encourage feedback from their people. That feedback should be both negative and positive for the best results. Justin Cobb believes that a big part of his success in business can be attributed to feedback and criticism from others.
If you run a business, the first step is to create a culture in your office where feedback is encouraged. Make time for questions at meetings. Even go around the table asking each attendee to point out any problems with the decisions made. This doesn’t mean that you need to sit there apologizing or accepting culpability for everything. You can simply thank the person for the feedback, and take the time to think about it.
Once you’ve taken in the feedback, ask yourself some questions. Firstly, ask yourself what you learned from the feedback if anything. You don’t have to agree with everything you hear, but you should take the time to consider it and ask yourself if it’s valid. If it is, then actively consider what you have gained from it.
Now, ask yourself what you’re going to do about the criticism. It won’t be an asset to you unless you tie it to some action that will improve your business. Take the time to write down what you are going to do to fix or react to the feedback. Justin Cobb recommends writing down almost everything. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that writing things down is a powerful tool for remembering and learning.
Finally, you might grab a short one-on-one meeting with the person who gave you the feedback. You could use this opportunity to thank them again for the criticism and let them know how you’re acting to improve. This isn’t necessary in most cases, as often these results are self-evident. But it never hurts to build relationships.