The agreements of constructive feedback
Nick Carter

In my experience, there is a very common feeling that creative pros and clients have about feedback: that it is a negative thing, a delivery of bad news. If you do feel that way, I’d encourage you to give yourself permission to let go of that feeling.

Feedback is the fuel that moves collaboration forward. As long as it’s delivered—and received—constructively.

So it’s a two-way street! It’s just as important for creatives to receive feedback constructively as it is for clients and account people to offer it constructively. Think of it as a set of agreements you share.

As a feedback giver, I agree to…

- Ask creatives for their preferences for the form and timing of feedback.

- Frame feedback as a question, not an answer. Finish the sentence, “How might we…?”

- Relate feedback to strategic aims, not subjective preferences.

- If you are an account person or other client liaison, encourage clients to follow these agreements too. (This way, you don’t have to do the work for them and nothing gets lost in translation.)

As a feedback recipient, I agree to…

- Be clear with my needs about the form and timing of feedback.

- Approach feedback with an open and curious mind.- Ask any necessary clarifying questions.

- Trust that feedback makes my work more accurate and effective.

Doing these little things creates the conditions for feedback conversations to feel like what they truly are: experts coming together to make the work as artful and effective as it can be.

Also, snacks help, bring snacks. Or, like, put in the video call invite that the first 5 minutes are for discussing the snacks everyone brought.