These days, it may seem as though everyone has an opinion about your business—and it’s not always easy to hear. But as much as you may dread getting feedback, there’s a great deal of value in listening to what your customers and colleagues have to say. After all, even negative feedback can lead to a positive outcome.
That’s why we asked six entrepreneurs from FounderSociety the following question:
Q. As a business owner, what’s one thing you can do to become better at taking feedback about your business?
1. Treat It Like a Gift
You’re not going to like every gift you get. The same can be said for feedback. Some will be good, some will be hard to hear, and some will just be trash. The important thing is to allow yourself time to process what that feedback means to you. Accept the feedback, thank the person, and then “open” it on your own time when you can really think about it. It might end up being incredible—or not! —Adarsh Pallian, Trippeo
2. Realize That It’s for Your Own Benefit
No matter what you do, people will try to give you feedback about your business. Take it in stride, but remember that getting feedback isn’t always a negative thing. When someone is on the outside looking in, they see your business in a different light than you do because they’re not immersed in it on a daily basis like you. If you don’t agree with the feedback, remember that people are just trying to help, and move on. —Michael Rheaume, SnapKnot Inc.
3. Take It as Constructive Criticism
Feedback is your best source of information. For every one person who shares their thoughts, there are many others who keep it to themselves. Encourage people’s thoughts and address them so others see that you are listening and working hard to improve things. Then, do what you can to make changes so that future reviews are positive. —Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
4. Consider It a Warning
I treat all my feedback as a warning sign for my future. I view it as more of a prediction rather than what’s destined to happen. This way, I can sort through things and decide what I should change. —Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning
5. Compartmentalize It
6. Remember It’s Not All About You
As much as business owners take personal pride in their companies, it’s not only about us. We have employees and clients who rely on us for many different things, so unless we want to let them down, we have to smile and take feedback from many different sources. —Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC