Do not seek praise. Seek criticism.
By Matt Adams on November 21, 2008
We all strive to be better. Better bosses, designers, accountants, marketers, etc. In reading a blog from my friend David in the UK, I learned about Paul Arden. Paul Arden was an amazing advertiser / marketer in the early days of marketing to the masses.
The following passage is an exceprt from the book It’s Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be, by Paul Arden.
It is quite easy to get approval if we ask enough people, or if we ask those who are likely to tell us what we want to hear.
The likelihood is that they will say nice things rather than be too critical. Also, we tend to edit out the bad so that we hear only what we want to hear.
So if you have produced a pleasantly acceptable piece of work, you will have proved to yourself that it’s good simply because others have said so.
It is probably ok. But then it’s probably not great either.
If, instead of seeking approval, you ask, ‘What’s wrong with it? How can I make it better?’, you are more likely to get a truthful, critical answer.
You may even get an improvement on your idea.
And you are still in a position to reject the criticism if you think it is wrong.
Can you find fault with this?
This is a great quote, and something that we discuss often here at factor 1. Which is why we have been sending out this project feedback survey to all of our finished projects. So far the results have been positive, But I want to hear ways we can improve.
Do you want to improve your business? relationships? products? if so How are you finding criticism?