Earlier blog posts have emphasized the need to learn how to filter out the voices of critics. While it’s true that those who can only criticize are seldom of any practical help when building anything, especially something new, there are times when it pays to listen to those with a different point of view than your own.
It’s also important to make sure that before listening to your critics that you are crystal clear about your goal, in terms of what solution you/your product brings. Having a vision of the ideal resolution is important, because it serves as your ballast and reference point.
What needs to remain flexible is the means through which your goal is achieved. Keep an open mind about what shape the tools and variables will be along the way.
It’s exceedingly important to stay positive and to keep a “possibility mindset.” But if you create an artificial Rah Rah Cone of Cheerfulness around you at all times, you will be blindsided by something. I don’t know what it will be, but limiting your input channels is a dangerous gambit.
So. When it is advisable to listen to criticism?
1. When the person talking with you is speaking from a position of authentic love. Quick benchmark: love is expansive; fear/hate is regressive.
2. When your critic has successfully navigated the situation about which they are talking. That’s why hikers hire sherpas. If a sherpa says to me, “Don’t step there; you’ll fall off a cliff,” I’d be foolish to ignore her counsel.
3. When they bring solutions with their criticism. Complainers and Professional Critics never build; they only tear down others’ efforts. The critic who comes to you with options wants your greatest good. Pay heed.
True leaders never surround themselves with “yes men” and sycophants. They welcome contrast and differing points of view. Healthy criticism is a vital part of “pruning” your idea so that you can be sure that it can withstand the market.
When have you benefitted from the counsel of a “critic?” How did it impact your business?
Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation).