I love getting feedback! But, when I give feedback to others, I feel rather uncomfortable and never know how to fraise things. So I asked some friends: what tips would you give to someone who is struggling to give feedback? And they replied...
If the person is asking for your feedback, they value your opinion. You are important to them so don’t second guess. You are giving them a gift!
Make sure you are clear with what the person wants from you in their feedback. If you are unsure of boundaries and what they are looking for, ask for them to give you three questions to think about when you are reading or watching the piece. Structure is good for us worriers.
Make sure you are giving feedback constructively. Highlighting points that could be changed not just stating that things don’t work.
Simple one. Only giving feedback when it is being asked for. Check before you dive in there!
If you think something doesn’t work, fraise the feedback as if giving a new creative seed - a new idea that could spark a different journey for the person.
If you really find it hard to give feedback. Use the sh*t sandwich method. Give a complement, then tell them what needs work, and then give a different complement to top it off.
The classic here… treating others how you want to be treated yourself. If you would want to hear the feedback, then go ahead and give it (I need to remember this one).
I like to make feedback read as an opinion not fact.
Some people do just want praise when they ask for feedback. If they get upset, check how you have phrased everything, but equally it might be a nerve for them. Some people just need building up and that is okay. Do everything with love and kindness and know sometimes that the reaction might not be about you.
I always like to start feedback by telling the writer how the piece made me feel or what themes I thought of. Nothing constructive to start, just first impressions and the feels. This way they can see what effect their work is having and they can change it if it is way off track.
If I get stuck on how to structure the feedback I will put my response as a question. For example: if I think a character isn’t fleshed out I will start asking questions about the character, things I might be missing and I think the writer needs to think about. What was their childhood like? What was that meeting like that just happened off stage? This way it gets the creative juices flowing.
Thanks to Leona, Kate and Ru for starting the conversation and sharing some wise words.