Hiebing Feedback

Four Ways Feedback Can Inspire Your Team Toward Better Work

April 29, 2020by Sean Mullen

So, you’ve been invited to a creative review to weigh in on the latest work.

You realize you’re not just there to share your opinion—you’re there to do your part to make the work better. But you can’t help wondering: What’s the best way to do that?

It’s easier than you might think.

As you take in the work being presented, organize your thoughts into these four categories and you’re on your way to inspiring the team to even better places.

What’s Inspiring?

In plain English, this means: What caught your attention? What made you pause? What resonated? What gave you energy? Did something make you think differently? Or maybe it simply caught your eye or ear. You name it.

When it’s time to give feedback, start here—to capture the emotional power of the work, to acknowledge and celebrate it. Anything about the work that’s inspiring is fair game. It can be the process, the people, their attitude, a color, a turn of phrase. Share what’s inspiring. Point it out. You never know what a conversation about it may lead to.

What’s Working?

Next, get down to business. Start diving into the details of the work being shared. Is it on strategy? Is it relevant? Is it compelling? Does it align with other marketing efforts? What’s useful?

Remember, not every piece of everything will be working perfectly. It’s okay to dissect the work—sometimes that means identifying a small piece of something that’s beginning to work and “yes, and’ing” it into new territory. For this layer, you’re still working on the more positive elements of the work.

What’s Not Working?

Think big picture. This isn’t a forum to slam the creative or the people who made it. This is an opportunity to stand back and provide the constructive criticism that is needed.

Think concretely and offer candor. Is the work ownable? Is it in the brand’s voice? Will it differentiate the brand from its competition? Is the work executable within the timeline and budget?

The goal here is to identify what isn’t working as well as it should—or to spot what may be missing—so the team can make the work better together.

What’s Possible?

Then finally: What’s possible? While anything is possible, we’re focusing here on real-world possibility, i.e., changes and outcomes we can affect. Things we can actually do and would want to do.

This provides an actionable playbook for the creatives to go forth and make the work resonate with the target more.

Hopefully this gives you some basic guidelines to organize your thoughts during your next creative review. Because the only way to make work better is through better feedback.

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