Business Tip: Being Your Own Harshest Critic

In some cases, being your own harshest critic , especially if regularly applied and rarely relenting, can be bad. What matters is constructive criticism, which doesn’t always require a harsh tone and the embarrassment of the subject you’re criticizing. However, in some cases, it can be worthwhile to be very serious, or at least sincere, about identifying problems before they affect your operation.

After all, if you suffered a pipe leak at home, noticing and fixing the issue takes precedence over finding a comfortable, convenient date to look at it because otherwise, the leak could burst the pipe and cause flooding, completely ruining your home.

The same logic applies here. In some cases, especially when your business is struggling to operate well, it’s essential to consider what difficult decisions you could make to resolve issues, restore trust, or reduce the impact of faulty systems. Taking a harsh approach to your business criticism also means being very sure and careful about any recuperative actions you take. 

In this post, we’ll help you achieve that, then. Without further ado, please consider:

Review Your Performance As Owner/Manager

You likely run yearly appraisals of your staff to make sure they’re as productive as you hope or that set goals are met goals. That said, it’s also important to turn that focus on yourself. What management issues have you had this year, and could you prevent them next time?

For example, it might be that a harassment issue occurred in your office, and it took a little while for the victim to report it because they weren’t sure who to go to. Now you’ve resolved the issue and removed the offending staff member from your workplace; it’s good to look at the systems that may have helped or limited this employee from sharing their story and asking for help.

This is just one example, but it’s essential to get it right. You may just find you’ve had difficulty giving the morning briefings this year because you feel a little nervous. Keeping that in mind and potentially securing training, even heading to a public speaking conference with your staff can help you develop alongside those you manage.

Regardless of your avenue, a careful and reasoned approach towards self-improvement as a manager will show you’re not above trying to better yourself. If anything, that can inspire those below you, also.

Consider If Your Infrastructure Is Fit For Purpose

It’s also healthy to review how your internal and external infrastructure has aided or limited your business from being productive this year. For example, you might find that the custom suite environment you use to manage your business tasks is unfit for purpose, justifying investment in your brand’s best custom software development.

This might include developing a new booking platform for clients to better secure orders or a client management suite that allows you to customize preferences properly, assign representatives or client handlers, and collaborate with your partners.

Of course, sometimes infrastructure may mean switching from the Google Suite to Microsoft 365, or even tangible realities that format your office occupancy, like renting out more space in your commercial offices or access to more meeting rooms.

Categorize & Act Upon Bad Feedback

You can never grow if you don’t listen to negative feedback, but of course, not all feedback of this nature is valid. For example, you might have had a promotional code running for new customers all month. A possible customer notices this after the expiry date, tries to use it, sees it’s invalid, and leaves you a negative review. While you might perform outreach to add context to the review and give a diplomatic apology, that’s not feedback you must take to heart.

However, picking out valid criticism can be tremendously helpful, especially if it addresses issues you may have noticed. It might be that someone with a disability found that accessing your physical premises was difficult due to the lack of accessibility options. Of course, that’s absolutely feedback to take to heart and see how you can be more inclusive and accepting of people who may not otherwise be able to enter as not just customers but respected people.

When you find good criticism like this, you can use it to build upon an action plan instead of theorizing why certain results have come back; you now gain a perfect representation to focus on.

Use External Auditing Firms To Help You Sustain Standards

External auditing firms can help you retain standards where they need to be held and improve on standards where improvements need to be made. A good example is regulatory compliance auditors who inspect your processes, look into your bookkeeping, and make recommendations where you could be veering away from essential standards.

Perhaps an easier example to picture is those external firms corporate restaurants use to ensure their safety standards are met. They enforce a stricter set of guidelines, meaning when the real health inspectors come around to visit, you can be certain that you’ll pass the inspection with flying colors. Inviting this kind of criticism upon yourself is only there to improve, but it can certainly catch out the blind spots you may have had while busy running the company.

Identity Positive Progress

Being a harsh critic isn’t all doom and gloom. It should also be about noticing what you’ve done correctly because criticism is about identifying positive action and how it came about. If you do this, you can avoid feeling like everything is failing because a few systemic issues need improvement. Moreover, you can lean more into the outcome you hoped to benefit from, replicating best practices instead of repeating the poor mistakes.

Running a business is hard, and you’ll never get it perfect the first time. Thankfully, with this advice, you’ll have been your own harshest and most supportive critic, ensuring the best outcome.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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