If you’ve embarked on an important project with a creative professional – whether from a different department in your own company, or from a third-party agency – ensuring the best possible outcome can be a tricky balancing act.

On the one hand, you want to make sure the project turns out to be well worth the investment. On the other, you want to make sure you maintain a positive working relationship with your creative collaborator – something which can require a certain amount of diplomacy at times!

If you’re finding yourself worrying about how to offer honest but tactful ‘constructive criticism’ to try and guarantee a good outcome for the work, here are some helpful tips on how to give better feedback.

Understand the importance of specifics

If you want to provide helpful feedback, one of the most important things to focus on is providing a detailed explanation of your vision for the project. Steer clear of vague descriptions that could have a number of different meanings, and try to lay out as clearly as possible your goal for the project and how you would like it to look. Writing things down is often better than describing them out loud, as you can spend more time getting things just right, as well as having something to refer back to.

Offer regular catch-up sessions

When it comes to giving feedback, it’s more beneficial to offer regular, informal meetings, rather than an in-depth but infrequent catch-up. Frequent feed-back sessions create a feeling of cohesiveness and collaboration which will provide a more positive atmosphere and help keep the project on target.

Focus on fostering curiosity rather than criticism

During your feedback sessions, keep the focus on curiosity rather than critiquing – in other words, go around the table and ask for the reasoning behind people’s creative decisions, in an open and enquiring way. By jotting down ideas and asking questions, rather than just taking a red pen and striking out someone’s work, you are keeping your working relationship open, flexible and positive.

Be aware of when to hold fire!

If you have suggested an idea that gets vetoed – or if someone else has suggested an idea that you don’t quite agree with – it’s always worth pausing a minute to ask yourself whether this is something that really needs to be argued with, or if it can be let go for the greater good of the project.

If you have a critique, balance it out with a compliment

If you do need to give someone some constructive criticism, make sure you pair it with something kind and encouraging or complimentary at the same time, to prevent any negative energy from undermining your collaboration.

How DAM can help you and your team collaborate more effectively

Hopefully these simple but effective tips on providing better feedback will benefit you with your creative projects in future. Of course, another way you can ensure a more seamless collaboration is by investing in sophisticated digital asset management (DAM) software, which offers helpful features such as easy file sharing, a flexible security model, and email collections. Contact our team to find out more with a one-to-one demo!

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