And if they are hard on you, keep coming back to them. As my favorite client once said to someone working for him, “Is this it? Is this as good as you want to be? Are you done? Because if you are done, and you don’t want to be any better, I can stop talking. But if you’re not, I’m here for you.”
So next time someone is giving you feedback about something you made, think to yourself that to win means getting two or three insights, ideas, or suggestions that you are excited about, and that you couldn’t think up on your own. Lead the conversation until you get there. Ask real questions that tell you something that you didn’t know already. Say “tell me more.” Let them wander, tell stories, not understand, be irrelevant — take as long as it takes to listen for the pieces that make you better.
…t’s going to be the person who puts their own need to be liked aside to make you a better designer. And no, someone doesn’t need to understand you or your project 100% before they have the right to say anything about it. The person who doesn’t get you or what you made is the one that is most likely to come up with the idea or the insight that you can’t come up with on your own. People who see things differently are gold.