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How To Deliver Effective Feedback: A Guide for Creative Professionals

It's crucial to be able to provide feedback that is both constructive and impactful.

The ability to deliver effective feedback can lead to improved work relationships, better team collaboration, and increased job satisfaction. Still, many people struggle to provide feedback that actually resonates with the recipient. Why?

People often fail to approach feedback with a positive mindset.

Assuming negative intent or focusing on the problem instead of a solution can make feedback feel critical and unhelpful.

Other reasons include:

  • fear of confrontation

  • lack of confidence

  • not knowing how to phrase feedback (in a way that's easy to understand and act upon).

Here are 3 steps (habits) to help you deliver more effective feedback:

Step 1: Assume Positive Intent

Before providing feedback, take a moment to assume positive intent from the recipient. This helps to establish a positive foundation for the conversation and allows you to approach feedback from a solution-focused perspective. For example, instead of criticizing a team member for missing a deadline, seek to learn more from their perspective and life. Ask. Listen.

Step 2: Ask for Permission

Before giving feedback, it's important to ask for permission. This shows respect for the recipient and sets the tone for an open and productive conversation. For example, you could say, "I enjoyed working on this project with you, and would like to share more feedback. When is a good time for you?"

Step 3: Focus on Behavior and Impact

Observable behavior refers to actions that can be seen or heard and can be changed. Being specific and actionable is key to improving. Impact refers to the perceived effect of behavior on others and why it matters. For example, "I really like how you use color in your designs, it brings life to the project." This helps them understand what they should continue doing in the future.


By following these steps, you can deliver feedback that is both effective and empowering. Your recipients will appreciate your positive approach and the specific, actionable steps you provide to help them improve.

See you tomorrow.

Matt Cici

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