Today, anyone can publicly criticize what you do. Because you do something, they have something to criticize. Yes, criticism can be mean and hurtful but this should not prevent you from sharing what you do. It’s essential to get real opinions about what you do in order to progress better and faster. However, you should protect yourself from the crowd. Anyone who produces and shares things need a way to get better at filtering the negative inputs. In fact, you can’t assign all inputs the same weight. You need a way to categorize and treat them efficiently: what I call a negative inputs filtering matrix. To me it first starts by differentiating the three types of input and then, knowing when and how to act on them. I use to categorize criticism between comments, feedback and advices. Comments are broad and subjective opinions (can start with « according to my taste … »). Feedback is more specific and objective (can start with « I was trying to … but … »). Advice is more like a mix of both (can start with « according to my knowledge … »). With comments you need to pay attention to volume. If a large percentage of people is posting the exact same comment, you should start considering it. With feedback, you need to narrow it down. With a little follow up you can confirm that the person is from your target audience and better understand the root of the problem for future improvements. With advices you need to do profiling. Check who is sharing this piece of advice and why does he care. Having a pragmatic way to process negative inputs is a good way to keep learning and avoid being discouraged.
We badly frame questions for all sort of reasons. Because we assume everything was clear or because we fear of looking fussy or rude. From little frictions to more serious regrets or failures, the consequences can be bad. If the questions you ask to give people a chance to have some help don’t trigger any interaction, it most likely means that your questions don’t give the feeling that you really want to help. At best, the words and the ton you use are making you sound polite. You ask the question as a simple reflex like you always do. Other scenario, if you regularly beat about the bush with people around you, it’s most likely because you feel embarrassed to ask the questions that really matter to you. You don’t ask targeted and precise questions because you don’t want to start a conflict. You unconsciously ask the questions you would like to hear if you were in your interlocutor’s shoes. But good news! Those bad patterns can be fixed. What you need to do is to change the way you usually frame your questions. If you always ask the same questions over and over again you will have the same result. You can be as much polite as you can and still sound condescending. You can ask as many questions as you want and still don’t get the answer you expect. And that is just because your questions are poorly framed. One single word or a different ton can already make a big difference.