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Constructive Criticism Examples & How To Use Them as Currency in Your Business

constructive criticism examples
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Do you know any entrepreneurs who don’t want sales, reach, or to make an impact? I don’t.  Unfortunately, many businesses fail because they don’t have those three things: sales, reach, or impact.  Even worse, the failures could have been prevented if there was a good dose of constructive criticism offered to the person.  In this post, I want to give you some constructive criticism examples, situations where it can help and more so you’ll see how it can serve nearly as currency in your business.


Thinking about business failures and the absence of constructive criticism reminds me of American Idol, and not in a good way.  Let me tell you why…


constructive criticism examplesThe American Idol Story


Have you ever seen American Idol?  If not, let me explain what it is…


American Idol is a reality television show that’s broadcasted internationally.  On the show, people come from all over America to participate in a vocal audition for a chance to win the title “American Idol”.  The auditions are very competitive.  Millions of people show up to sing before a group of industry influencers who act as judges.  Then, after several rounds of cuts, a small group will battle it out for America’s votes, and the chance to win American Idol.


It’s quite an interesting show.


The Sad Thing About American Idol

At the beginning of a season of American Idol, they curate clips of some of the best auditions and some of the worse auditions.  The bad auditions are downright EMBARRASSING!


The people forget the words to the songs, have all kinds of clothes bloopers, and many of them can’t sing.  It’s always sad to see the person poised and prepared to sing, then some horrific (sometimes unidentifiable) vocal notes come out of their mouths.


Even worse, many of these people tell everyone they know, travel from far away, and stand in days worth of lines to stand before a judge who tells them “You cannot sing” and sometimes, they’re even less sympathetic with their remarks!


It’s disheartening and it makes you wonder “Why didn’t anyone tell them they couldn’t sing before they decided to audition?  Maybe, before they traveled?  Or, before they stood before an international audience?”.  Many times, these auditioners run out of the audition room into the arms of a group of loved ones who feed them a delusion.


It’s sad.


constructive criticism examplesHow American Idol Compares to Business


In business, rather than having an audition before celebrity judges, your audition is in the marketplace.  When you go out trying to pitch your product or service, your sales tell how you’re performing, and if you’re not getting good sales, someone knows why.


The chances are that your close loved ones won’t be completely honest with you and your friends might have become your friends due to your own confirmation biases.  Therefore, it’s likely, they may attempt to “tickle your ears” also.


You don’t want to be like the person who stands before millions (maybe even billions of people) to look CRAZY or ABSOLUTELY DELUSIONAL, do you?


That’s where constructive criticism comes in.


Constructive Criticism Definition


According to the Business Dictionary, “Constructive Criticism” is:


A recommended set of instructions that aims to collaboratively improve the overall quality of a product or service. Often containing helpful and specific suggestions for positive change, constructive criticism is highly focused on a particular issue or set of issues, as opposed to providing general feedback on the item or organization as a whole.


Constructive criticism should disable people who cannot sing from going before a national audience without the proper training or preparation on how to create a create audio experience for the recipient.  Similarly, constructive criticism should prevent an entrepreneur from spending years and years with an underperforming business, low sales, and not much to show for their efforts.


constructive criticism examplesHow Often Should You Solicit Constructive Criticism?


Since constructive criticism prevents underperforming business, you would think you should be getting it all the time, right?  Well, it’s actually not the case.


Constructive criticism should be solicited based on:


1. The pace you can apply it

2. The pace you can rid yourself of beliefs or stimulants that led to underperforming results prior

3. The pace you can assimilate or accomodate necessary new ideas, habits, and patterns


Where Should You Get Constructive Criticism From?


The advisors who can get you thru Kindergarten may not be able to get you thru College or thereafter.  Simply because they could give you constructive criticism that enabled you to learn to count to 10, doesn’t mean they can give you what you need to learn calculus.


Depending on your niche, your growth stage, your target audience, your goals, and other things, you’ll need different advisors.  For example, our government is established with a compilation of different backgrounds and skills necessary to advise the president and lead a nation.  President Trump probably wouldn’t go to the Vice President about the recipe for the cake at the inaugural dinner.  It probably just wouldn’t happen unless he knew that was his area of expertise.


Similarly, you want to go to people who have proven skill levels for professional constructive criticism and go to people with without proven skill levels for general feedback.

constructive criticism examplesConstructive Criticism vs. Not so Constructive Criticism Examples


When you’re reaching out, you’ll find so many people who don’t know how to give constructive criticism.  If they’re trying to be nice or befriend you, then they might say something like:


You’re doing a good job

Your business looks great

I like it

or something else like that…


The Bad Thing About Compliments


Compliments can be uplifting, warming, motivating, encouraging, and my list can go on…Unfortunately, when compliments are given where constructive criticism is needed, the recipient walks away believing they’re doing everything necessary to elicit business, and in reality, they may not be.  Sometimes, people compliment rather than enduring the potential confrontation or hard feelings that may arise from telling the truth.  In some situations, people compliment to intentionally be misleading and to allow the person to live in a delusion longer than necessary.


Criticism that Deconstructs


Alternatively, there’s deconstructive criticism that’s also not a valuable resource when constructive criticism is warranted.  Deconstructive criticism sounds more like…


Your business is ugly

You don’t offer value

You have the worse idea ever

You’re an overall horrible person


Overall, deconstructive criticism illuminates flaws without offering solutions or instructions for repairing them.


constructive criticism examplesHelpful Constructive Criticism Answers These Questions


There’s a laundry list of questions that constructive criticism can answer, but here’s some helpful questions you can answer (or get answered) thru general constructive criticism:


  • What is your impression of my business?
  • Pretending you’re thinking about becoming a customer…Were there any quirks that would stop you from becoming a customer?  If so, what are they?
  • After seeing my business, do you think there are any opportunities I’m missing out regarding the products and services I offer?
  • Do you think there are relevant opportunities I should be taking advantage of?
  • Can you imagine specifically who could benefit from my product or service?


Sometimes, it’s important for us to step back and give objective feedback.  In fact, I wrote an article with 33 questions I recommend you asking yourself to prompt ideas and creative thinking.  There may be questions another person could help you answer there, but those questions are invaluable to tug away at confirmation biases, broken paradigms, and challenge growth.


Final Words on Constructive Criticism Examples


The goal of this article was to show constructive criticism examples and how a dose of constructive criticism can be very valuable to your business. If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.  I’d love to help you out!


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Now, it’s Your Turn…


What questions do you appreciate being answered thru constructive criticism?  Do you have some good constructive criticism examples?  Where do you get the best constructive criticism?  Leave your comments below.

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