One of the backbones to projects or tasks getting done properly is getting multiple opinions about your work, or more commonly known, getting feedback. When we make something, we are generally somewhat selfish about it. We are proud of what we do and aren’t very fond of someone coming in and essentially ripping it apart and pointing out what you did wrong or needs to be changed.
Whether you think this is true or not, there will a time, if not a multitude of times, that you will be in the situation of critiquing or giving feedback on someone’s work. I truly believe that the way you evaluate can make or break how you are not only viewed as a peer or someone who is trusted, but can also hurt the overall effectiveness of the work.
First off, the word criticism has such a negative connotation. So the first task when giving feed back is to make sure that in everything you are doing involving someone else’s work, you must be constructive. Being constructive in your criticism will help in giving you the respect you need to make effective assumptions when relaying messages back to the creator if what you are critiquing.
So, let’s talk for a second about what being constructive means. It is still essentially finding things that you would change or that you think are wrong, but it is all in how you present it to them. For instance:
Chadwick is designing something for a client and wants Winston to look it over before he submits it back to the client. When viewing it, Winston spots a problem that he knows the client won’t like. How should he tell Chadwick?
Should he say, “Man… you have to change this, it won’t work.” Or “Chadwick, I love you man but they aren’t going to like this, try again.”
You might be thinking the second one, but I would say neither. This is a blanket situation that would apply to most scenarios. A constructive way to approach this would be, “This looks great, I can tell you really put a lot of hard work into this. What do you think about changing (whatever it is) to (whatever you think). I think it could really make it pop and I know the client would love it. Give it a shot and see what you think!”