Prepare For Criticism and Profit From it!

Criticism Is The Price For Success.

The trick is to prepare for it and profit from it!

One of the most surprising and disappointing things about reaching an important goal is that many people won’t share your happiness when they hear about it (this could be even be from your closest family and friends).

Some will even criticise your achievement. The well known Australian term for this is ‘tall poppy syndrome’ and will affect the best of us – if you let it!

The criticism always hurts – but it hurts less if you put a barrier up between yourself and the negative attitudes of some people. Moreover, you can learn to profit from it.

What’s important, is not the criticism itself but how I react to it:

Praise: motivates you to do more of what you’re doing.

Criticism: Should spur you to examine what you’re doing and see if you can do it better.

In What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, Marshall Goldsmith talks about how important feedback is to success:

“Feedback is very useful for telling us ‘where we are.’ Without feedback… we couldn’t have results. We couldn’t keep score. We wouldn’t know if we were getting better or worse. Just as salespeople need feedback on what’s selling and leaders need feedback on how they are perceived by their subordinates, we all need feedback to see where we are, where we need to go, and to measure our progress.”

Goldsmith acknowledges that negative feedback “can be employed by others to reinforce our feelings of failure, or at least remind us of them – and our reaction is rarely positive.” Worst of all, negative feedback can sometimes shut us down. “We close ranks, turn into our shell, and shut the world out.”

Here are some useful techniques for profiting from criticism.

1. Remember that criticism is the price of success.

As writer Elbert Hubbard said, “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” So if you do something, you’re going to be subject to criticism. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gets criticised. Celebrities like Brad Pitt get criticised. Even Mother Theresa was criticised. The more success you have, the more criticism you will engender. Some of it will be helpful. Most of it will be useless. But don’t be afraid of it. It won’t kill you. It will only make you stronger.

2. Dump your failure-support group.

This group includes jealous friends, professional enemies, and habitual critics. These people get their kicks from kicking you when you are up. They want you to be down where they are. Don’t go there. Just ignore them.

3. Take helpful criticism seriously.

Constructive criticism is sometimes harsh but it’s always well intended. It’s not hard to identify it. The hard thing is to accept that it is helpful and use it to improve yourself.

4. Solicit criticism – from people you respect – while there is plenty of time to make changes.

We do this regularly with new ideas within our business. We gather the team together and ask for general feedback on the new marketing idea. By getting their criticism early, we don’t feel its sting. It’s just an idea. And ideas, as we all know, are not worth anything until they are put into action. Another benefit from doing this is that it allows plenty of time to make changes before a great deal of the work is done.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.

(Story inspired by ETR)