It often happens that we talk about a whole lot of things with our clients. Sometimes it’s related to work; sometimes it’s not. Whether it’s about work, the industry, the competition (yours or theirs), sports or anything else – never, ever criticize.
Criticism is negative energy. It focuses on weakness. And we should never focus on weakness; only on strength. This, too, goes to building your brand and what you stand for. It shows you are always positive (people like that) and you don’t get dragged into negative energy space.
Remember Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law (paraphrased): For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. To criticize, therefore, doesn’t benefit anyone – because no benefit can return. The other side of this coin is that when we criticize, that criticism (perhaps in a different form) must come back to us in equal magnitude.
So, it’s not a good idea.
People don’t feel good when there’s criticism. It puts them in a negative state of mind, even when we feel justified in the criticism. Therefore, since the idea is to leave the client feeling good, don’t criticize anything, even if the client does. And if the client criticizes something, don’t respond with anything unless the client expects you to; in which case you can answer with the enigmatic “I understand”.
Trond Frantzen is Managing Partner with the PowerStart Group. He specializes in business development strategies, marketing & sales planning and execution, and “bail-in” on challenged projects. His best-selling book, “Requirements Analysis for Non-Technical Business Analysts: Business Requirements Elicitation” can be found on Amazon.