“Can You Make the Logo Bigger?”
Getting and Receiving Feedback In the Creative World Isn’t Easy – But It IS Inevitable. Here are some helpful tips to make the feedback process easier for you, and more productive for your team.
In my advertising career, I have been on the giving and receiving end of the dreaded feedback channel more times than I can count. It’s an everyday part of the job. When you are doing anything for someone other than yourself, you are going to receive feedback. When someone is doing something for YOU, you are going to give feedback. Still, it’s hands down one of the more difficult tasks in the creative work space. Most people just aren’t good at it. And because of that, it’s easy to develop bad habits. Here are the most common “bad feedback habits” that I’ve encountered, and some suggestions and tips on ways they can be broken.
- Bad Habit – Empty Praise
You all know this client. The one who, after every presentation says “Good job,”, “nice work”—and not a whole lot else. Now I enjoy a good compliment as much as the next person, but a collaborator who never has any feedback isn’t doing your team any favors. And this is even more frustrating when that same client requests multiple rounds of changes, after giving this “empty praise.” Sometimes clients do this for fear that that they will hurt the creative team’s feelings or take the feedback too personally.
Interestingly, a recent Harvard Business Review found that 57% of people prefer corrective feedback to praise. That’s because most creatives rely on constructive criticism for project next steps and directions for improvement. Repeatedly hearing “good job” isn’t useful because it’s not specific—or actionable.