Getting feedback, criticism, whether you ask for it or not, hurts, it stings, it’s a difficult thing to absorb. So what most need to learn is to not take it personally, but rather construe them as a learning process. This to become more productive in their life and their work.
Criticism, provided that it’s constructive and not a direct pointless attack, can be compared to having measles as a child, this when it comes to your ideas. Getting it can be an unpleasant experience, but the real pain is having to sit through and absorbing the experience.
What you need is to build up the immunity, work on building up the strength to accept all of your faults, the issues which were raised or critiqued by taking it as advice, and then as a result improving yourself as a person, for the creative work that you produce.
No one wants to go through a bout of the measles without receiving medical attention, and receiving criticism happens to be similar. There are ways of getting equal or at times greater value without the discomfort.
We all get criticized and can be wounded by it. It’s how we react, how constructively we take and redirect the feedback to our best advantage. Most who give criticism don’t do so out of spite, or intention, but will offer at times harsh remarks to signify what needs to be changed.
Setting Down The Groundwork
What you need to do set is the stage for those who are offering you their opinion. You need to express what you’re trying to do, who you’re doing it for, and anything else that’s useful. It’s your duty to make sure they have all the information before getting their feedback.
For instance, if you’re a product designer, and you’re currently working on a project that’s aimed towards seniors who has specific medical needs, there are certain constraints which you need to consider, and you need to mention that.
Make sure that all of your critics know this. Most importantly, tell them precisely what the criteria is for the product’s success, so they can help you in figuring out your end goal, if you’re accomplishing those objectives or not.
What the takeaway is that you’re extremely immersed in your project, it’s your baby, so it becomes easy to forget that others don’t have all of the pertinent information or the care that you do.
State What Stage You’re At
When you’re at the beginning phases of a new project, it’s common to just stop, scrap, and start all over again, often. It becomes completely feasible to just throw out large portions of your work, and then start from scratch again.
So if your launch date is tomorrow, then there’s no point in scraping something that you’ll never be able to change in time. What you need is actionable alterations to improve what you already have.
Tell those who you’re working with the exact stage that you’re at, and what you’re finished vision is, this to avoid getting biting remarks and wasting time, by receiving feedback that is completely irrelevant.
Writing Down The Feedback
What criticism does is it makes us extremely emotional, vulnerable, and what emotions won’t allow is our brain and memory to function that well. So what you want to do is write everything down.
Make sure that you note down everything that’s being said, this especially if it’s an overwhelming setting such as a client meeting or a boardroom presentation. Take the notes yourself or get someone else to.
This regardless of whether you happen to agree with the criticism or not. You’ll then be able to evaluate your reactions when you’re in a better state of mind, at a later time to accurately analyze the true intent of the feedback.
Always Be Asking
What’s advised is that you should never become a passive absorbing sponge for all of the criticism either. This especially if there happens to be particular areas that you’re struggling with.
For instance, you just can’t seem to get a headline right, or you’re completely undecided about a certain color scheme, then go ahead and ask for advice.
If you are a designer or involved in some type of creative project, what most will find as an extremely difficult and frustrating thing to do, is take any type of advice or critique.
The reason being that they didn’t bother to address the things which they needed the actual help with. Your design team can’t read your mind or visualize what you’re thinking about, if you don’t tell them.
So just be direct with them about the areas that you need help on, rather than becoming sensitive regarding the other details or areas.
Noting everything can quell your nervousness which gives you something to do during a critique. Jot down ideas, points of criticism, and the queries and questions that are being asked.
Then at a later date, carefully go through them, find answers to the questions, and look for clues and patterns in the feedback. Was there more people who commented on a certain step. If so, it then may deserve another look.
Never Sit On The Criticism For Long
Sure, how dare anyone question you, but what you need to do is examine all your critiques, as harsh as they may be, with a level head after the emotion is gone.
It’s advisable never to sit on the feedback for long. Put all of the ideas which were generated in the feedback session, and then discard or activate them into practice as soon as it’s practical to do so.
All you’re doing is just wrestling with whatever you’re currently working on, rather than thinking abstractly about it. Then you should be able to see what works and what doesn’t.