We’ve all been there: you’re collaborating with someone on a project and you’d like to see something done differently. Or, you just brought on a new teammate and you want to let them know what your preferred process is. How do you bring it up?
Being on either end of the feedback conversation is always a bit nerve wracking. But when you run a creative studio and want to grow your team, providing feedback is necessary not only to the success of the team but the individual growth of each team member.
Whether you want to discuss the project you’re collaborating on or go over processes, here are a few ways to provide feedback to your teammates.
Receiving constructive feedback can make people feel tense or defensive, so the *last* thing you want to do is just spring it on them during the middle of a meeting or through a quick Slack message.
Instead, let them know you’d like to schedule time to discuss and give them a heads up about what the meeting will cover. Getting something on the calendar helps both parties prepare which can lead to a more productive conversation.
If you have a team that you regularly work with, make these discussions a routine part of the process (this could be included as part of the project wrap-up) so everyone can get comfortable providing feedback with one another on what worked and what could’ve been better.
Make it an open conversation
Even if you’re the one who prompted the discussion, it should still be a two-way (or however many people are involved) conversation. The whole point of feedback is to share your constructive thoughts — with the expectation that the other person will have insight to share, too. Give your teammate the space and opportunity to share their perspective and any feedback they have for you in return. Besides, being able to give and receive constructive feedback is one of the traits of a great teammate.
Don’t make it personal
Remember: this is about the project, not the person. Keep your feedback focused on the work.
When the feedback comes from a place of respect and is approached with an open mind, the conversation is more likely to be well-received and productive.
Provide actionable insight
There’s nothing worse than receiving vague feedback like “this could be better.” When feedback isn’t clear, not only does it cause confusion about next steps, but it also doesn’t leave room for a two-way conversation.
Feedback needs to be actionable. Do you want your teammate to communicate project updates more frequently? Let them know your preferred form of communication and see if they’d be open to getting a recurring status update meeting on the calendar. Is your collaborator not nailing the tone of voice for the website copy project you’re working on? Share specific examples of what you’re looking for.
Positive feedback is also encouraged
Who ever said feedback could only be negative? Positive feedback is not only encouraged but necessary to boost motivation, improve team morale, and get everyone to meet the end goal.
Let your teammates know how much you appreciate the work hard they’re putting in to get a client project delivered. Or praise the skills or positive attitude they bring to the team. No action is too small to go unnoticed! When your team feels recognized and appreciated, they’ll feel more motivated to produce their best work. And that’s a win for everyone involved.