Critique is a lever for success. Before engaging with customers for first meetings or other ongoing opportunities, I often encourage my team to seek out others to critique their thinking, approaches, and assumptions. Connect with your manager, co-workers, and mentors for constructive criticism. When you open the door for others to come in, there is a floodgate of new ideas and creative thinking that can bring you and your team to a higher level.
Of course, this is a two-way street. Getting feedback from customers is absolutely essential. If you can engage on a peer-to-peer level with a customer, the relationship shifts completely. At this point you can show up to your customer as a trusted advisor. And, as time goes on, they may invite you to critique their own thinking or provide feedback. It’s a prime way to shift the conversation from just a vendor to a trusted advisor.