Feedback on Creative Work Should Give Direction, Not Demand Changes

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Giving feedback is tricky, but especially for creative work, where “good” may be subjective.

o The next time you have to provide input on a piece of creative work, such as a design prototype or a website mock-up, start by signaling that your opinion is exactly that: an opinion.

o Use first-person pronouns (I, me, and my) and descriptive phrases such as “What I see is…” or “What strikes me is…” or “My opinion is…” Make clear that your input is meant to outline potential trajectories for the project — not a specific, “right” road for it to take.

o Focus on giving direction, not critiquing. While you should provide detailed feedback about what you think is or isn’t working, don’t overly dig into specifics.

The discussion should open up space for something new to emerge, something that neither you nor the creator might have anticipated.

Adapted from “How to Give and Receive Feedback About Creative Work,” by Spencer Harrison

To check out that HBR article and join the discussion, please click here.

Here’s a direct link to dozens of other Management Tips.

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