Criticism can be a win-win: Use it to your advantage

Posted on 06 May 2023 17:26 in Freelancers & Digital Nomads
by Fatema Electricwala

Constructive criticism can be your competitive edge, leading to growth and improvement. Learn how to embrace feedback, strengthen your product, and enhance your work methods.

Let’s face it, giving or receiving criticism can be difficult, regardless of the manner in which it's presented. However, becoming accustomed to providing and receiving helpful and constructive criticism is essential for career growth. Dealing with criticism can be challenging because no one enjoys being informed that they are wrong. 


However, there is a silver lining since criticism can occasionally provide a competitive advantage. Competitive edge refers to the factors or attributes that enable a company or organization to outperform its competitors. These factors could be related to the product or service offering, operational efficiencies, marketing strategies, customer service, or any other aspect of the business that sets it apart from its competitors. 


Criticism is a form of communication

When someone offers criticism, it implies that they are providing feedback on your work for them. This presents a chance to gain more insights into the person you are working with and learn how to transform them into a contented customer or audience member. It is crucial to pause and reflect before responding to their comments. In business, collaborating with someone who can patiently receive and implement criticism can enable both parties to strive for a better outcome.


Feedback strengthens your product

If you consistently believe that you are correct and never seek feedback from others, you cannot be certain that what you are doing is effective. Whether you are marketing or presenting a product or service, accepting and acting upon genuine opinions will provide clear insights into what is successful and what requires improvement. Utilize this information to modify your performance, service, presentation or event. Occasionally, the feedback may be unpleasant to hear, but it can ultimately strengthen your product. You have to have a “growth mindset” which involves seeking feedback and viewing challenges as an opportunity for growth. 


It lets you contemplate about how you work 

Constructive criticism can steer you away from unfavourable practices and lead you towards better ones. This type of feedback provides the receiver with a perspective on their areas that require improvement, which is essential for comprehending the rationale behind the feedback. Sometimes taking a step back might help you improve your way of working and avoid any negative outcomes down the road. 


The right kind of criticism can give you an advantage

Consider this: if you can persuade a customer to disclose to you exclusively how to provide them with the ideal product or service, that is knowledge that you possess that no one else does. This puts you ahead of everyone else in your industry and can be utilized in the future to accomplish things even more swiftly. Discover ways to extract that information from your client or audience and persuade them to divulge what they truly desire.


Positive language = Healthy solution 

The way you respond to criticism is crucial, and your language plays a significant role. Avoid engaging in an argument and instead transform the exchange into a discussion focused on resolving the issue. This approach enables you to maintain a positive relationship with the individual and minimize the time spent attempting to rectify the problem, allowing you to concentrate on getting paid. You can use phrases like – 


"I can comprehend your perspective. However, please allow me to clarify why I opted for this approach."

“OK, so you'd like to see this design changed – what would you say is the main thing that ought to be different?"

"I've thought about what you said and I’m surely looking forward to incorporate it"


Don’t take it to your heart

It's important not to take it personally if someone does not immediately appreciate your work. Even if you believe the criticism is unjust, it's not advisable to react impulsively and aggressively, as it can harm your relationship with the client or audience and damage your reputation. While there may be instances when criticism feels personal, it's important to remain composed and not take offense. A competent professional can assimilate criticism and respond appropriately, without reacting as though it is a personal attack.


Trust me, you will want this coming as it as an equally essential and beneficial part of your business. If you can master this art, you’ll certainly be hitting the peak of success in your business. 




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About the author

Fatema Electricwala  

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