What do you really want when you ask for advice or feedback?

As is the nature of my business, I am constantly asked for my feedback and opinions. But sometimes I wonder as to the motives of those asking.

Just this week, I was asked to review someone’s website. I gave them my critique which they promptly chose to ignore. Now of course, that is their prerogative but what pains me is when I give up my valuable time to someone who has no intention of listening to any advice or taking any feedback.

So what really are your intentions when asking for feedback or advice? Do you really want to hear the truth or are you fishing for compliments? If you ask for feedback are you really thick-skinned enough to take it? In business, we need to have a skin as thick as a rhinoceros at times!

It can be tough to accept critique on something that we have sweat blood and tears over. It hurts when we have put endless hours into creating something that another person suggests would be better if done in a different way.

It is so hard to accept honest criticism about our business, but is matters and it is vital to not put our fingers in our ears and not block it out. If all you are looking for is approval. It won’t work out well for anyone.

I know it is hard. I have been there. I spent months putting together a new website myself and when I asked for critique, the response I got wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I thought it was wonderful because I knew the effort that had gone into creating it. I knew what I wanted it to say and what I wanted it to achieve. And I thought everyone else would love it as much as I did. So when someone told me it was less than perfect, I put my head in my hands and cried. Yes, I am not ashamed to admit that.

Once I had got over my upset, and then the inevitable ‘how dare they criticise me!!!’ moment of anger, I realised that this was their perception and I had to take note. If I didn’t, I was only fooling myself.

I could have ignored them and remained with my delusion that my site was wonderful, but I knew that I wouldn’t have lasted long without opening my ears and being prepared to listen to the feedback and take the comments on board.

Feedback, particularly from our ideal clients and from the experts who have been there and done it before us, is essential.
So please, if you really want to know the truth what people think, and to get valuable advice on how to improve your success, take a deep breath, pull up your big girl knickers and open your ears my darlings.