There are critics who are genuine and there are ones who criticize just for the sake of doing it. Entrepreneurs have to deal with every type of criticism be it the cynical or the optimist. The adage ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ holds somewhat true as criticization accentuates flaws and providing room to rectify the same.
Also, one is never too old to listen. If you are a fraternity between business advisors, customers and mentors then you are bound to face criticism.
It depends on how you welcome the criticism and from whom is it coming. Here are some tips to cope up with criticism:
Be a Sport (A good listener)
Reminisce what was taught in moral values during the school time. Don’t make it a passé. Listening to others, be it your critics will always help you understand the short comes from another person’s perspective. Everyone has a high opinion of oneself but working in a group and handling a team is not a cake walk. Being a patient listener goes a long way. Facing that criticism helps you brace yourself.
Not all criticism is good
It is not necessary to take a note of each and every criticism. There might be a few who do not understand the exact motive behind your venture. Remember you cannot judge a fish’s ability by making it climb a tree. However, it is necessary to listen and subtly put yourself across. It can happen that the critic is misinformed or doesn’t know where to look for the information. When there’s such a situation don’t just ignore or shout but be helpful and pleasant to tell where to look for information. Always remember that constructive criticism helps in building further.
Create guidelines for posting on social pages. Do not entertain offensive or personal attacks. This will showcase you as a mature handler towards criticism. Never lash out directly at people, but you can use Facebook and Twitter to post general messages that explain, justify or clarify why you do things a certain way. Respect people’s opinions, but show your side of the story as well. Allow conversation that includes the community that you have built to be your path lighters.
See It As A Sign Of Progress
As Winston Churchill once said Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. When someone bashes your product, one way to respond is to deflect their negative words and talk about something instead. Another way is to look at it upside down and perceiving it as an opportunity to improve more. Every time you are criticized think of it as a sign of progress and dont be deterred by it.
Simplest of all is to do nothing. Entrepreneurs often take hasty decisions in response to a certain criticism where no action was required on their part. A criticism by someone who lacks experience can prove devastating if taken in consideration. In these cases the best course of action is to do nothing. I repeat DO NOTHING.
Summing up in a nutshell, criticism is important to keep on moving forward but not every criticism needs to be handled. Never let unnecessary criticism get under your skin. It will debilitate your confidence which will hamper your growth. Also, looking from user’s perspective and having a hindsight about your company will go a long way.