How to Deal with Judgement and Criticism in a Positive Way 77

How to Deal with Judgement and Criticism in a Positive Way

This post was written by Trevor McDonald.

If only we could brush off judgment like crumbs from a dinner table. Life would be simple.

Instead, we waste our own precious time thinking about what might be going on in someone else’s head. Well, it’s time to stop – because it really is none of our business.

Even the kind of bold, in-your-face judgment you might get from an overzealous aunt or angry ex shouldn’t have a negative impact on your life. Truly, you’re above this.

Here are some ideas for turning that criticism into a positive thing.

1. Evaluate the Root of Judgement.

Oftentimes, when we think someone else is judging us, we’re really judging ourselves. That’s a deep realization, so give it a moment to sink in. If we’re honest with ourselves, one of our biggest worries is that someone else will expose us based on our insecurities.

Let’s say you’re insecure about something silly like how far your ears protrude from your head. You obsess over this feature and may think other people are too. A stranger sees you and does a double take. In your mind, it’s clearly because he’s never seen ears quite like yours. In reality, it’s because you remind him of someone he knows.

This example seems like an exaggeration, but we do this to ourselves all the time. It could be over something physical, a decision you’ve made or your political views. We almost always judge ourselves more harshly than others do, and we’d be wise to remember that.

2. Evaluate the Cause of Judgement.

If your kid came home and told you about a bully on the playground, you might explain something about how bullies lash out because they feel insecure. We should also remember that this doesn’t end on the playground. If someone in your office is clearly judging you, they might be jealous and insecure. When they put you down, they instantly feel better about themselves.

On the playground and in the office, the best way to stop a bully is to remove his power. Don’t engage. When your bully gets bored, he or she will move on to something else that is more rewarding.

When you look at judgment from this perspective, it’s a bit easier to feel sorry for your accuser. The act of judging you makes this person small. Remember that you’re above that and move on to bigger and better things.

3. Focus on What Matters.

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Acknowledge that you cannot stop judgment. If someone wants to judge you, they’ll find a way. And since you can’t please all of the people all of the time, shift your focus to something more important. You can’t change the past, so forgive yourself for past mistakes and move forward.

Every time you find yourself caught up in worry about what other people think, actively think of something positive. Think about your own past and future success. Think about the happiness you’re preserving by avoiding toxic thoughts.

Some of the greatest minds of our time have faced judgment, failure, and criticism (everyone has). The difference between true success and failure is how you handle judgment. Let it break you or let it make you. It’s your choice.

4. Know When to Walk Away.

Sometimes you can walk away from toxic judgmental people. Sometimes you can’t.

If you’ve identified someone as toxic, do your best to avoid this person. If you can’t rid your life of them entirely, it’s time to draw some boundaries. Maybe you let them know that your personal life is off limits. Set the parameters that make you feel most comfortable.

Imagine the possibilities in store for you when you’ve removed the negative Nancy’s in your life.

5. Choose Love.

This tip is by far the most difficult on the list, but it’s also the most rewarding. Make an effort to look at everything in your life through a filter of love and understanding. If someone is acting in a way that seems small-minded, maybe they need more kindness. Maybe they’re earnestly trying to help, but their delivery is lacking couth. Choose to see the good in every situation, and you stand to learn and grow much more than if you ignore anything that doesn’t suit you. 

Possibly the best advice you can get on judgment and criticism is that it’s more a reflection of the person judging than it is on you. Try not to let it bother you because it will only interfere with your happiness. The world needs your happiness more than it needs any negativity.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.