“Do you get offended upon hearing critique?”

The heart of the matter is, our ego is at stake when we hear suggestions for improvement whether we ask for recommendations or not. Diplomacy isn’t the major factor although a friendly tone certainly helps, but it is more about whether we are receptive to the idea of change and our ability to get over the fact not everything we do is perfect.

Looking back, the most sensitive critiques I received in business (I had to brace myself to receive some of these messages with seemingly good spirit) were, without doubt, of the biggest help. Many years ago, I actually felt like smacking someone when he belittled my newly self-published book upon hearing, “If your book were any good, a publisher would have picked it up.” I still believe self-published books do not belittle the quality of the content. But hearing the nastiness in his voice, it became my mission to find a publisher and I did. And doing so launched my credibility and business. The fact is, I listened. That experience taught me to seek out critique for more rapid advancement.

Now in practice of welcoming critique, I sent another manuscript to a friend to see how she liked it. To my surprise she let me know she had a big problem with some of the writing style in that piece. I listened, and I removed what was disliked. My thinking was, if she did not like it then there are other potential readers out there who might not like it as well. Realizing much was at stake, I sent the manuscript to another good friend to read through as she had authored a few books herself. She kindly gave me excellent suggestions for keeping me on track with the content of each chapter.

The differentiator in moving ahead more quickly is whether or not you take action on the requested as well as unsolicited advice. Examine comments for validity. Are you able to see what they see? Can you admit they are right? How do you believe making the change might enhance what you are attempting to accomplish? Taking action may well bring about the most significant leap forward in your business.

Interestingly, a curious turn of events took place upon my being asked to review a new project of one of the people who previously critiqued my manuscript. Perhaps it was because my comments were unexpected, but the stiffness on the other end of the phone could be heard as if a wall went up. I explained that I was so appreciative of how she previously helped me, and that my intention was to reciprocate. We ended okay but my insight was not taken particularly well and it’s doubtful action will be taken.

When we can put ego aside, much may be gained from the insight of others, and that’s when we leapfrog forward. This newfound style adds to your personal brand of being easy to work with. Simply doing this will advance you to the wave of the Smooth Sale!


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, (800) 704-1499; authored “INSPIRED Business A New View for Building Business and Communities”;  “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, and “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews“. Elinor was designated as a “Top 25 Sales Influencer for 2012.”