No one likes to be criticized about how we perform our jobs. Agencies know this, so they often postpone meetings to engage with employees because giving feedback can be quite uncomfortable.
However, it can’t be overstated that giving critical feedback to your people, although difficult, can be extremely beneficial. Employers should want to keep workers on the team who are open to hearing constructive criticism. In fact, receiving constructive criticism can help change how we think about our career paths and the skills we need to reach our unique goals and boost our creativity.
Why not view feedback as a part of the creative process itself? It is. As leaders and professionals give colleagues thoughtful feedback, they can literally assist in encouraging a refreshing creative spirit. Creativity is obviously original, but it’s also inspired — and that’s a critical reason to be open to constructive feedback.
When we develop a safe space to give and receive feedback — especially in a marketing and advertising environment — we are working to create a culture that continually reinvents itself. The ability to not get stuck on the words (feedback) but focus on the work itself can truly expand the range of the team. The exchange process comes through in the finished product.
Constructive Feedback Can Catapult Careers
Many of us get stuck in our personal comfort zones. We adapt to these systems because they work for us, but following the same path leaves us precious little room for creative growth and improvement. We simply cannot learn much if we repeat the same actions, in the same ways, all day long.
Studies also show that engaging in repetitive habits causes the learning centers of our brains to shut down. By leaving our comfort zones, our brains will kick into learning mode, which can change our perspectives and allow our minds to grasp new processes and creative concepts. This is extremely important: A learning mind is a happy mind. Unlocking our learning modes can help us improve our work ethic and our overall mood toward the creative work we complete.
Receiving feedback perceived as negative can be overwhelming. For some of us, negative comments toward past work are etched into our minds and influence all of our work moving forward. But this feedback can be helpful in teaching us what not to do, as well as ways to improve.
The ultimate goal is to strive for positive feedback with our creative work. Using constructive feedback can help us develop skill sets and methods that improve our work and its quality.
When I receive constructive criticism, it’s an exercise of trust between the giving party and me. When we receive the feedback, it can help us add layers to the work we offer while learning new and improved techniques. When a variety of people provide constructive criticism, it allows us to utilize diversity of thought.
Use Active Listening to Gain Value
We can listen to a thousand words without actually hearing what a person says. We tend to exercise this type of listening when we are being criticized.
Instead, it is crucial that we actively listen to the words spoken to us. This is the purest and truly the most influential type of listening we can do. Active listening requires us to pay attention, focus deeply on what is said, and use it as a tool for improving our creative work and our overall moods.
No one likes to be criticized unfairly. Delivered constructively, however, criticism is quite healthy. Everyone needs it to grow and thrive. Rather than shy away from it, let’s embrace it and become better, more creative people as a result.