Q not A is key to Creative feedback


When we ask for feedback on something we've created, we can be like schoolchildren hoping the teacher will give us an A.

A for approval.

Admiration. Attention. Applause.

But that sort of feedback is pretty uncreative in terms of feeding our work. All it feeds is our ego – which is nice, but…

In giving and receiving creative feedback, I have found it much more useful to think in terms of questions.

Questions like:

  • What did you find most interesting about this work?
  • What would you like to see less of?
  • Was there anything missing?
  • Did everything make sense?
  • Did it make you laugh?  Where?
  • Did it make you sad? Where?
  • Did you have a favourite bit? What made that work for you?

Putting your ego to one side and listening carefully to the answers can generate real creative benefits.

When you're the one giving the feedback, it helps to remember that creative types can be very sensitive.  Novelist, dramatist and subscriber to the Creative Intelligence Blog, Mia Gallagher, has kindly volunteered the following artist-centred model for critical response: www.danceexchange.org/performance/criticalresponse.html

‘I'm using this model for giving feedback to people in writing classes/courses,' Mia says. ‘Thought it might be up your street and worth a post.'

Absolutely, Mia. Many thanks!

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