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Embracing Criticism

While there are some negative people around who always see problems with everything, there is also rarely a disaster where somebody wasn't pointing out the problem in advance. The Bernie Maddoff fraud? The Securities and Exchange Commission in the US was tipped off years ago. Financial Crisis? It was all predicted by many people. For an example try searching for 'Peter Schiff was right' on YouTube. He foresaw the whole pack of cards coming down and was laughed out of court for his pains.

None of us like to be criticised, but the critics frequently hold the truth that we lack. It's a sad fact that there are some constant naysayers around, and they may have to be ignored. However, we dismiss all criticism on that basis at our peril. If that's us, our egos are probably getting in the way.

If we want to be really successful in business, we need to be open to criticism, especially from our customers. As well as exposing specific problems that need to be fixed, customer complaints are a great opportunity to learn and improve. They should not be buried away and forgotten, but analysed. That way the negative becomes constructive, and we will improve performance as a result.

In my business life, I've tried hard to listen to criticism and adjust what I do in its light. It's not always been easy, but I strongly believe that I'm a better business person as a result. Surely there's no better motivation than that.

By Chris Barling, CEO, Sellerdeck. Originally published on

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