On this episode, James and Megan continue the theme of Fear and tackle a topic that everyone faces in one form or another.
Our Kryptonite today: The Fear of Critics!
Why are we fearful of criticism?:
- First off, let’s point out that criticism can be a good thing if it given and received in a constructive manner.
- The fear of criticism and critics is when it is either unwarranted or a personal attack. This kind of criticism isn’t fun.
- Small business is personal business in most cases, so an attack on your business feels like an attack on you.
What is the impact of negative criticism?:
- Public criticism can hurt business. We all check reviews, and if they are negative, we aren’t as likely to purchase.
- It can steal our confidence. Just one negative comment in sea of positive comments still makes us feel bad. Some more than others, but few enjoy negative reviews.
- As a business leader, your job includes creating a brand and creating a culture. How you deal with negative criticism will play a large role in your brand identity and company culture.
How can we deal with these critics?
- Three Ways to Handle Negative Comments (TheNaptimeCEO Blog)
- Is the comment constructive?
- Is the comment negative?
- Is it just nasty/mean and hateful?
- Understand first when to engage and when to ignore. If it’s unwarranted, it may resolve itself.
- If you’re doing things right, there will be people against what you’re doing. You cannot please everyone. Thicken your skin.
- You can’t fix stupid or crazy. Don’t go there! But if it’s a misunderstanding, an honest attempt to improve things can work wonders.
- Use it to your advantage. In some cases you can highlight the criticism and further endear your superfans. And at the end of the day, the superfans are what really matter.
- Understand that criticism will happen no matter how hard you try to be perfect.
- When faced with a criticism, ask if it’s warranted and if so, what you can learn from it. If it’s not, ignore it.
- Spend more time focusing on where you’re going than where you’ve been. If criticism is useful, use it. If not, dump it. Don’t let the naysayers drive the future of your business.