How to give good feedback
Want to know how to get good (𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙥𝙛𝙪𝙡, 𝙫𝙖𝙡𝙪𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚, 𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡-𝙤𝙛-𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚-𝙢𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙪𝙢) feedback?
Want to know how to give it to others? (Yes, you do.)
⍰ Did you know that I’m a big fan of questions ⍰
OK. Artists, designers, writers…real, live human beings need feedback but we don’t always get the kind that helps us move forward.
Sometimes what aims to be useful is just coldly corrective or, well, a projection of what our listener is fearing, envious or ignorant of. (Guiltyyyyyyyyy.)
As with most things, it takes a bit of education to get what we need.
My all-time favorite, FAVORITE thing to say to clients:
𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐬, 𝐈’𝐥𝐥 𝐟𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬.
It’s a fantastic way to (gently) guide them into giving me feedback that is not prescriptive (make the logo bigger), personally motivated (I hate the color blue), or vague (can we just make it pop more).
I might follow up with…you guessed it: a QUESTION 💅
What is missing?
What do you think might not hit the mark with your audience?
Which goal would you like to prioritize first?
At which point do you get confused at all?
And then a lot of “tell me why”s.
Big fan of that old standby as well.
The same line of thinking can work when giving or asking for feedback from a friend, a critique group, a mentor, or whomever you are in front of showing off your stuff.
Encourage them to ask questions.
Point out anything confusing or unclear.
Clarify your intentions or motivations.
The clear parameters of a question allow a person to pause and say, wait-what am I really looking at or looking for here? (A question for a question!? I love it.)
𝙎𝙤 𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙢𝙚, 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙤𝙧 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙨𝙩 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙮𝙤𝙪’𝙫𝙚 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙙?