Episode 118: Listener Request - Constructive Criticism - 15 Minutes To Freedom Podcast | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Episode 118: Listener Request - Constructive Criticism - 15 Minutes To Freedom Podcast".
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This is Ryan Neidell, host of 15 Minutes to Freedom, a podcast dedicated to helping you expand your mindset and get shit done. Be sure to subscribe to this show and leave me a review if I've been able to impact your life in any way. Reviews help me reach a higher ranking, which in turn allows the message to reach more people. It's my goal with this podcast to positively impact a million people's lives. Also, check out RyanNidell.com for additional content. That's R-Y-A-N-N-I-D-D-E-L.com. Also find me on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook at Ryan Nidell. Today's episode is listener requested constructive criticism.
Insights On Constructive Criticism
How to receive constructive criticism (00:44)
Today's episode is Listener Requested Constructive Criticism. So in today's episode, I'm going to share with you not only how constructive criticism can help you, but how you can get through to those people that you need to give constructive criticism to. I've shared with you in past episodes that my success in any business I've ever been a part of was because I've been able to find people that have essentially been my mentor. Now mentor is a term that gets thrown around like an incredible amount, right? Like everybody wants a mentor. Everybody wants to be a mentee or be mentored by somebody. It just bounces around all the time. So my definition of a mentor in this capacity was that I found someone that was successful in the field that I was currently in and I befriended them and started asking them for advice. And those might have been inversely related when I think about it. I might have started asking for advice and then became a friend of theirs. I'm probably like moss. Like, I just kind of grow on you. You don't really have a choice. If you're around me enough, you're going to end up liking me. And so the first guy that really had this impact on my life was a guy named Jeremy Yeager. Jeremy was a finance manager at a small dealership in, not in Columbus, in Mansfield, Ohio, where I first started in the car world. Now Jeremy, as the finance manager, had achieved what I had envisioned to be the massive maximum amount of success that I knew in the car business. He could close anybody. He knew how to talk to banks. He had this charisma about him. He just had everything going on. Like, man, I got to learn from this guy. And it wasn't bad that I was actually getting paid whenever he would sell products in the finance office. So there was that as well. So I would go in and ask him how to pitch, how to close deals at the table, how to use the right word tracks. Explain to me how you got from selling cars four, five, six, however many years ago into being in the finance office. I want to be able to be in the finance office. And so for that, he eventually shared it with me. And it was him and another guy, Tim Mowry, and really even a third, a guy named Dave, that together the three of them took a vested interest in my success. And I couldn't be more appreciative. Like really even to this day, they formulated many of the sales strategies that I know still work today because they took the time to care. But part of taking the time to care was the fact that they then had to share with me things that weren't so pleasant. We'll call them constructive criticism. That constructive criticism I invited in at that moment because I had looked for that mentor-esque relationship. You know, if I didn't have the right clothing on or I looked like a slob, they would tell me I didn't look right. Shirt was untucked. Tie was too loose. Outfit didn't match. Sounds pretty arbitrary, right? A little spiteful even. Not to me. We've now crossed into this boundary. We're now on the same page as far as the fact that I need that criticism. I need that feedback. That's all superficial stuff in some capacity. How I look, of course, plays a role in sales because I have to make the person that came on the lot as comfortable as could be. Have them know I'm as professional as I was capable of being at that point. But it goes much deeper than that. It goes into how early I was showing up at work. It goes into was I brushing my teeth after eating? It goes into how I was negotiating at the table. It goes into how I was collecting the paperwork and making sure things were legible so I could turn them in. It just kept stacking up on each other. And some would look at this like they were tough on me, like it was a little bit of a boot camp, especially Jeremy. And Jeremy and I became lifelong friends after this, so I think the world of him. But in that, he put me through the paces. His constructive criticism was a little bit like hazing, which is awesome now. At the time, I wasn't always so pleased with it, but it was good. And so constructive criticism becomes part of your life when you allow people into that part of your environment. But for me, for that person to enter into the environment, I have to look at them as a person of influence. it can't be because of the fact they have a title it can't be because of the fact they've been at the dealership or at the company for longer than I have I have to truly look at them and inside of myself believe them to be a superior person in this environment that I want to learn from that's what allows that relationship to be pure and honest. Without those pieces and parts, it ends up being that you're just a condescending prick trying to help somebody that doesn't want to listen. Now, I'm a helper and fixer by nature. That's who I am. That's what this podcast is. But if I went around to everybody that follows me on social media, because that's the easiest way to have this conversation, and went to everybody's individual pages and sent them direct messages about things that I thought they could do better, I'm sure you would receive me as the biggest pompous asshole on the planet. Who is this guy in the ivory tower direct messaging me that I could do this better? Right? I know I certainly would. But it's a different ballgame when you then message me and ask me for input or feedback on your life. You now have somehow built the trust and respect for the value that I bring in the marketplace, the lessons that I've learned, the teachings that I've shared, and you value it enough to bring me into your circle. You're not letting me in your safe space. Now, when I'm in your safe space, I might punch you in the jaw. You might need it. It's not all sunshine and roses and butterflies, but it's not supposed to be. But it all comes down to the fact of being invited in. So that's the second half of this conversation. Let's say that you have a subordinate, someone that you want to mentor to become a better version of the salesperson or employee that they are today. If you don't take the time to establish yourself as a quality individual that can be respected, liked, viewed as an authority figure, and genuinely cares about their success, it is almost impossible to get through to somebody. I don't think in my professional career I have ever seen that work the right way. It's easy to sit there and pound your hammer and say, this is the way it's done because I'm super successful and this is the way that I do it. But not if you don't understand the crowd that you're speaking to. Not if you don't share the human parts of the mistakes that you made along the way that have taught you these lessons. Not if you don't know if that employee has kids or a wife or a sick mother or a dog that died. If you don't know why they're working at the job, if you don't know what their aspirations are for life, you're not invited in yet. Just because you're someone's boss doesn't mean they're going to take constructive criticism from you. It means they have to listen to you,'s boss doesn't mean they're going to take constructive criticism from you. It means they have to listen to you, but it doesn't mean they have to respect you. That respect is earned over time and consistency. That was something I certainly didn't learn the easy way in the car business.
How to Earn Respect (08:36)
I was a young, arrogant guy that thought I knew everything, and you couldn't tell me anything after I left Mansfield, Ohio. Yeah, think how funny that sounds. Like, I'm laughing saying it out loud. Like, you couldn't tell me anything once I left this small town I grew up in and was fairly successful in a car dealership in a small town. It's crazy. it's crazy. But on the receiving side of things, let's say that person that hasn't earned your respect yet wants to offer you advice. What do you do? Do you shun it? Do you not take action? Do you bite your tongue? Do you lash back out at them? What's the right way to handle that? Anytime someone that I've not invited into my circle offers me advice, constructive criticism, mentorship, I have to run it through a series of my own filters, just as I would encourage you to. of my own filters, just as I would encourage you to. The first question is, what is this person's intention with me? Why are they sharing this information with me? Do they have my best interest in mind, or is there some back-end way that they could be manipulating the situation? I wouldn't spend a ton of time here. Don't beat yourself up over the situation. Simply try to figure it out. As you continue down that path and you've asked yourself the first question, you realize the fact that they have your best interest in mind, that they don't have malicious undertones and they're not trying to see you fail, then ask why it's starting to affect you and why your stomach gets tight when they give you advice. I'll bet most of the time it's because of personal insecurities. Because at some point in life you weren't living the best way. At some point in life you didn't help someone that needed help. At some point deep down the rabbit hole in your adolescent developmental years something didn't go the right way and you're not able to take that constructive criticism. On my side of things, for a long time was the fact that my father always had shared with me things that I didn't do right. I never heard that I had done something the right way, especially when it came to athletics and sports.
Why You Dont Want Constructive Criticism (10:54)
I realize that now as I look backwards over time, I can see that that's what the issues were. And once I understood that those were the issues, I could then make adjustments to my current self and my future self to make sure that those things weren't limiting. That those were old stories that were developed that didn't have to define who I am today. But it took time being cognizant of that. I had to realize that was the fact. Just like you might have to. And let's say you progress, you know, you progress, you know, process this whole situation.
Put Away the Doubt (11:29)
And the person has your best interest in mind. And you realize the fact that you're not receiving it because of some self-doubt that you might have from your past. What's the next step? self-doubt that you might have from your past, what's the next step? For me, the next step is to look the person in the eye and say, thank you for caring enough to actually share something with me. Because it's not always easy to walk up to somebody and say, hey man, there's just a better way to do what you're doing right now. I haven't earned your respect yet. You don't know me yet, but I see you struggling. I've struggled before. Here's a better way to consider doing what you're doing. That takes some gumption.
So to push that forward and make that happen is difficult. Tell the person thank you. You can be the person that then starts to befriend the person that gave you the constructive criticism. It's all a choice and mindset. Like at this point, I don't know any person on the planet that knows starts to befriend the person that gave you the constructive criticism. It's all a choice and mindset. Like at this point, I don't know any person on the planet that knows 100% about everything. There is someone that can teach you something about every event in life if you're open to receive it.
Content For Beginners
You just have to understand if that person's worth your time or not and what their motives are. time or not and what their motives are. So in your life today, as you think about it, where are you against constructive criticism? I think that's one of the biggest things that go on right now. Maybe it's at the gym. No, you're at the gym. You find yourself to be fairly physically fit, got a decent physique. You feel good when you look at yourself in the mirror without clothes on, and somebody comes up to you and wants to correct your form. And inside your blood just boils. You just, man, this guy doesn't know anything. His body's not as good as mine. He doesn't know what he's talking about. He hasn't been in the gym as long as I have. Stop for a second. Ask him why he feels a need to share that with you. Try out his way and see if it feels different before you shun it. You know, maybe the constructive criticism that you don't like hearing actually comes at the office. Maybe you just hate it. You know, maybe you don't like being told that you're not the best salesperson, but the numbers are backing up the fact that you're not. So drop the ego and start to understand there's a better way to operate. Or maybe it's in the relationship world. Maybe you're starting to date a girl and she shares with you, man, you should really open my door. You'd be a better guy if you opened the door and if you stood between me and the road when we walked, if you opened the door for me. Just the small things. Instead of receiving that, you get mad and hop on Tinder and find another girl. I will say the issue is not with the girl for sharing what's on her mind. The issue is inside of you and your insecurity about taking information from somebody that generally cares about you to try to make you a better person. So if you're able to start receiving constructive criticism, and when the time appears right and dole out constructive criticism to those that are willing to receive it, you'll find that most days you're able to get shit done.