When we ask for feedback on something, hearing "This is fantastic!" can be an ego boost, but it's not terribly useful. If you want to improve your work, seek out more than just compliments.
Photo by Joe Shlabotnik
As author Seth Godin points out, applause make us feel good, but it can also disguise the fact that the feedback you're receiving is devoid of any critical value. While applause isn't bad, you need both to improve:
"You did a great job. This is exactly what I was hoping for. I wouldn't change a thing. You completely nailed it, it's fabulous."
Of course, that's not feedback, really. It's applause.
Applause is great. We all need more of it.
But if you want to improve, you should actively seek feedback. And that feedback, if it's more than just carping, will be constructive. It will clearly and generously lay out ways you can more effectively delight your customers and create a remarkable experience that leads to ever more customers.
Part of finding good feedback, of course, is in being the type of person who encourages criticism. You don't have to give a voice to your most cynical detractors, but making sure those who can provide useful insights are allowed to do so can go a long way.
The feedback you've been waiting for [Seth Godin]