When it comes to business and being a success in business, you’ll have to get use to some form of criticism. After all, the right type of criticism can be very helpful and make you better than you thought you could be.

But, sometimes the wrong type of criticism can actually make things worse so it’s important to understand the different types of critics. You need to know who you should listen to and who you should ignore.

1. Friendly

People who offer friendly criticism are often your supporters. These people care about you and want you to succeed. They often use criticism to build up the person, not tear them down. They want you to make it in the world and sometimes their ideas are good and sometimes not. You’re more likely to listen to this type of criticism since it comes from known supporters, but remember to ensure that the advice given is fact based.

2. Indifferent

People who offer indifferent criticism typically don’t really so much care about hurting your feelings as much as they care about bringing about the truth and facts surrounding an issue. They may be natural objectors who simply like being a sounding board to bring out the different aspects of a situation. They aren’t personal at all; they’re objective. It’s important to listen to this type of criticism and also pay attention as before to the facts of the situation.

3. Hostile

Today, these types of critics are referred to as trolls. This type of criticism has no objective reason, or supportive reason. Instead it is designed to demean, attack, control and undermine. You can recognize this type of critic because they are on attack and trying to tear you down. Oddly, you can still benefit from this type of criticism but mostly these are the people you should ignore.

To evaluate criticism, consider the following:

  • How true is it? – List out the facts of the situation so that you can determine what is really true.
  • How can I change it? – If some good points have been made, can you make a change?
  • Do I care? – If it’s something from a hostile source, do you really care at all what they think?
  • How can I make this a positive? – Now, how can you take the facts of the criticism and turn it around into a positive?

In each case you should always listen to the criticism with open eyes and ears without being defensive. Each has its own good and bad points, and while you can ignore the person giving the hostile advice due to their rudeness, do listen to what they say so that you can determine if there is any level of truth. After all, regardless of the reason for the critic to give you advice, as long as there is truth you can profit from it.

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