by Nicholas Cole, Inc. Magazine, 2/19/17.
If you are in the business of managing creatives, try these approaches on for size:
1. Validate first, critique second.
A creative individual will be ten times more likely to take your criticism seriously if you first acknowledge the hard work they’ve done.
“You know, I really liked what you did with this. Actually, my favorite part was….”.
2. Have the original creative brief handy.
…When you’re providing feedback, keep things to the point and have a reference. Don’t leave it up to, “Well she said this during that meeting two weeks ago.” Have your creative brief in hand and point to specific points. This will make the conversation much, much easier to have.
3. Ask questions before jumping to conclusions.
Instead of coming in hot with feedback, it can be a good idea to instead ask why things are the way they are …
The key here, however, is to do so with a tone of genuine curiosity. If you start asking, “Why? Why? Why?” in a rapid-fire tone, you’re going to start battles. There’s no need. Just ask in a nice and respectful way, and if anything, give the creative individual a moment to get excited about sharing and explaining their work.
4. Don’t be afraid to have fun.
I never understood why people treated office environments, especially ones that are supposed to hold some amount of creativity, so seriously.
Great work doesn’t happen in a concrete box. It happens between people who enjoy working with each other, and have fun doing work collaboratively…