I pride myself on professionalism and knowing my craft, but I have encountered too many people who seem to think they either know my craft better than I do or feel that the suggestions I give or critiques I make with regards to their business are some sort of personal attack. Now, mind you these are the same people who have “come to the realization” that they need MY help. Really!?! You need my help, but you don’t want to listen to what I say? I’m not even sure how that works? I’m confused.
Let me define constructive criticism for you. As per BusinessDictionary.com, constructive criticism means:
“A recommended set of instructions that aim to collaboratively improve the overall quality of a product or service. Often containing helpful and specific suggestions for positive change, constructive criticism is highly focused on a particular issue or set of issues, as opposed to providing general feedback on the item or organization as a whole.”
As a business professional who is in the business of giving advice and yes, constructive criticism, it is my job to tell you where you have gone wrong and offer the advice on how to fix the problem. There are too many business owners who are overly sensitive to being told they are doing things wrong, yet in their heart of hearts they know what they are doing is wrong, yet they are offended when they hire you and you confirm what they already know.
In my world, constructive criticism is the process of acknowledging that you have been doing it wrong, but you know now, that it can be fixed and most importantly you are willing to do whatever it takes to fix it. You cannot be so sensitive, stubborn or just arrogant to think that hiring a professional, whether it be marketing, business or other, will come on board to be your “yes man”. They are coming on board to show you how to improve what you have and if that means changing, redoing, starting over, then that is what needs to be done. If you had been doing it right from the beginning then, I’m sure you would not have hired them in the first place.
Embrace constructive criticism. Get off your high horse and accept that you don’t know everything and that there are people out there who can and want to help you. Don’t take advice as a personal attack on you….it is not. Take self out of the equation and know that your business is more important than your immature feelings.