Constructive Criticism Can Go a Long Way in Building a Great Business

The Oxford’s English dictionary defines feedback as “advice, criticism or information about how good or useful something or somebody’s work is”. A feedback could be in any form that you can imagine; opinions, comments, advice, ratings that people give out on your work, or in the form of an entirely new idea. Simply put, it is like an examination, where the examiner judges you based on your performance of the subject, whatever it may be, which gives you room to improve on what they think you’re lacking. However, in the real world, the only difference is that in the place of examiners, there are customers and top-level management who act as judge and the jury, since they are the ones who are either more experienced than us, or the ones who are actually using your product on an everyday basis.

As Bill Gates once said, “We all need people who give us feedback, that is how we improve”. Looking at it, one could argue that it is a simple statement, one that holds a deeper meaning to it. Everyone, from the top-level management to the entry-level associate needs constant feedback in order to get and as a result help themselves and the company to grow. Every coin has two sides to it, which holds true here as well. Everybody likes positive feedback, since it makes them feel good about themselves and the work they’ve put out. The problem starts when the negative feedback comes in, where you have to make a choice about whether you would let it make you bitter or better. It is through the negative feedback, the constructive criticism that would help you constantly improve and help you on the journey to reach your full potential.

Ken Blanchard, a famous American author once said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”, and breakfast as we know is the most important meal of the day, the one everybody starts with. Thus, it is essential to have a feedback loop where you are constantly challenging yourself by thinking about what you’ve done, and how you could be doing it better. This doesn’t come easy since giving feedback to yourself is one of the hardest things to do. Good feedback gives you the chance to get better everyday, with every task you perform. In the end, the customer is the final inspector, and while they may not know it, they are the ones actually voting with their wallets. With a majority of new products opting to go the digital route, getting feedback and implementing it to get better and grow in the long run all while generating optimum results has never been easier.

At this juncture, the crucial thing to remember is that no matter how positive a feedback you get, you always start over with the next customer which means that every single feedback you get counts. Not only that, there is also huge value in learning with instant feedback. At its best, feedback is a powerful tool, which helps stimulate honest self-reflection, insight and improvement. At its worst, it might be the reason your colleague winds up crying in the bathroom. In the end, the choice lies in the hands of the person who receives it.