Dealing With Criticism

March 6, 2020 by Michael Cordeiro

No one wants it. Nobody likes it. We all dread it but everyone needs it now and then. Criticism. Is it a litany of stinging words that knock you right off your pedestal of awesomeness or just a dose of reality? That depends mainly on you and your tolerance for hard truth. Many of us send out those cute little performance sheets after an event because we want some “real feedback”. Seriously though, do you actually ever think you’re going to recieve anything back other than a “nice” review?

I’m sure more than a few of you read that last paragraph and thought,”Well, I value constructive criticism. That’s why I send out those forms.” The big problem with those forms is that they can and sometimes do provide useful info but are the people you’re giving the forms to actually qualified to give you feedback that can in fact  improve your business? Probably not. Their evaluation of you is being filtered through a very small lens. They are most likely comparing you to you, not to other companies.

In all fairness, criticism does little to help your business grow. What you’re really after is positive feedback. Positive feedback in and of itself isn’t inherently positive but should lead the receipient in a direction that facilitates positive growth and change. Pointing out the bad in a way to help you makes things better. Sometimes the problem isn’t the problem but your attitude about the problem is. Savvy?

You can have your peers criticize you on social media from the safety of their lazy boys or you can have a certified business consultant evaluate your company and it’s practices. Another option is to attend a conference filled with people that want to help you, like say Mobile Beat in Vegas. Either option means hearing some things you may not like. The only other alternative is getting blindsided by someone when you think you were doing a bang up job. I’ll give you an example.

A few weeks ago on one of the DJ forums (dramatic eye rolling) there was a general discussion about using the microphone to talk over songs and hype the crowd. Of course there were over a hundred different opinions on the subject. Each more correct than the former. One of the participants recommended purchasing a certain training DVD by a prominent industry speaker (no names). The creator of that DVD jumped on to say thank you for the plug. Another participant very bluntly and verbosely proceeded to read the creator of said DVD the riot act.

This social media assasin had seriously broken down things down point by point in a scathing review. It was so harsh that right after reading his ballistic literary assault I hopped on Messenger and texted the creator, “Dude, WTF was that all about?” I half expected him to go off on a tirade of his own, but he instead acted with grace and magnamity. His reply on the forum was simply this: Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to point out areas I can change to impriove my business. Wow!

Would you have acted the same way? Are you mentally prepared to deal with real hard criticism or are you ready to do something proactive to improve your performance and company? The knee jerk reaction would be to say that “one” guy blasting you on a forum is an idiot and everybody loves your DJ skills. I have to admit that after going back and rereading his post I found myself almost on his side (almost). He did take the time to actually make articulated and specific points. Those points could be turned into something actionable that would improve business.

On the other hand his delivery was arrogant and made him out to be a big poopy head ( I’m not allowed to call someone a dick). The take away is this: How you dish out criticism is just as important as how your recieve it. More times than not criticism comes from a negative place. Instead offer feedback that is honest, real, hard and specific. Not degrading or demeaning. Criticism is used to tear someone down. Positive feedback is designed to build them up.

Are you up to the challenge of having your peers give you some solid and honest feedback? Are you really open to having an industry professional judge your skills and give you hard advice that will instantly help your business? Then I hope to see you at MBLV24 in Las Vegas. Still time to get those passes!!

Filed Under: Digital DJing, Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Misc, Mobile DJ Performance Tips