We say we want the truth. We claim we want honest feedback of our current marketing idea. Yet most of us (especially females, myself included) really only want to hear it if it’s positive. We’re often our own worst critic so when we seek feedback, what we want deep down is reassurance.
I think many of us in small business are hard-wired to please people. That’s why we got into business in the first place – to share our talents and gifts with others to make them happy, too! When we don’t knock the ball out of the park (whether it be with the special event we planned, the new recipe we tried or the direct mail piece we sent out), we’re down in the dumps, sometimes for days. Those closest to us who we seek feedback from become hesitant to share with honesty because they see how we get defensive or worse, depressed, when they do! And the worst offenders of us are those who HOLD A GRUDGE against those who tried to give us honest feedback.
But the thing is, if we’re always told everything we do is perfect, we never gain perspective, we never grow, we’re never challenged to be better. So as painful as it may be, find a group of confidants whose opinion you really value. These people have your best interest at heart. They aren’t competitors or even competitive with you (so family may not be the best people for this group). They are people who understand your goals, appreciate your work, and want you to be better. Then ask them for their honest feedback and put away your ego. Be prepared to take their feedback without the tears, without the defensiveness, without the attitude. They are doing you a favor. Now take it and run with it!