Jordan Kentris from A Good Day talks to us about embracing the hidden power of criticism. How do we step back from the emotion? How do we parse through criticism to get to the core of what we need to change? Listen in for the full conversation.
Jordan is the founder and owner of a boutique design firm, A Good Day which was created to serve planners and their eclectic couples. It’s a one-of-a-kind stationery that establishes a unique brand for each event. Jordan is a UX designer by trade and utilizes his experience to work with business owners on their branding. An innovator in the industry, he was recognized by BizBash as one of the Most Innovative People in 2020 as well as a finalist for the NACE One Awards Innovator of the Year.
Today, Jordan is talking to us about Embracing the Hidden Power of Criticism. When someone criticizes you, it can be hurtful. It can be especially hurtful to creative entrepreneurs and solopreneurs since so much of our business is a reflection of us or our personalities. We might think that when someone gives negative criticism, it’s a personal attack or it means they don’t like us.
Recognize There are Different Kinds of Criticism
When receiving criticism, it’s important to recognize that there are different types of criticism. The first are personal attacks. Often, personal attacks have more to do with the other person than with us. Someone may have been having a really bad day or there were alot of external factors going on. So it’s important to recognize that not all personal attacks will carry weight.
When it comes to criticism that you need to take to heart and learn from, it’s important to let go of the mentality of “what’s wrong with me? I’m not successful!” and instead get down to the meat of the feedback. We can take the emotion out of the feedback and learn from it.
Step away from the hurt and see what happened. Evaluate whats happening so that you can avoid it in the future. Think of a piece of criticism like an onion with layers. The first layer is the emotion. You can take that out. Once you get down to the core you can start to see okay, what happened?
Ask What Led Into the Criticism?
Then ask, what led into the criticism? Was it a problem with my client experience, was it a lack of communication? Was it an onboarding failure? Were you just in a bad mood when you spoke to the client?
You can also look for consistent threads. If you get consistent pieces of feedback that are negative, it’s time to evaluate yourself and see where you might be contributing to the problem.
Accountability groups or groups of peers can also be helpful to have a soundboarding, to ask for feedback, and to ask for help. When asking for help, ask from a diverse group of people as well so that you don’t just hear from people like you.
Ask for Feedback from Others
Finally, there’s a way of asking for feedback that won’t set you up for a personal attack. Let your clients know you are open and want to hear feedback. That can take away some of the emotion and disarm them so that you can have a great conversation. When you get feedback, ask yourself “how many times is this happening?” And “how much weight do I need to put on this piece of feedback?” If someone says “I don’t like the color blue.” that’s different than “I have a hard time reading the text on your website” or “the header image is too big and takes too long to scroll.”
Thanks again to Jordan Kentris from A Good Day for coming on the podcast!