Giving helpful, sincere feedback can be hard.

And taking constructive criticism without getting offended can be even harder.

But as a creative freelancer, criticism is something you likely face multiple times a week, if not many times every day.

I’ve included some of my favorite points from the article below. You can check out all the rest at Bidsketch.

First, on giving feedback:

1. Get to the Point

When giving feedback, many people will start with a positive in an attempt to soften the blow. While this might seem like a kind gesture, it can actually dilute the overall message and leave the recipient feeling confused and even patronized.

To avoid this, just get straight to the point. To mentally prepare the recipient, begin by asking if they are open to hearing feedback, then dive straight in with the facts. They will appreciate being treated as a professional and will also gain a clearer understanding of what needs to be changed.

4. Offer Suggestions

Whenever possible, offer feedback that includes specific and practical suggestions that the recipient can put into action.

Not only will this ensure that the recipient is making suitable changes, it also shows that you are looking ahead to improvements that can be made to the task and to the recipient.

For example, instead of just telling the recipient that a piece of work hasn’t been researched thoroughly enough, also suggest relevant websites for them to check out for a fuller understanding of the topic.

Next on taking criticism:

1. Pause for a Moment

When receiving feedback, we often want to defend ourselves or justify our actions. This is perfectly natural.

However, it is important to remember that you always have a choice in how you react. So pause for a moment, consider the feedback and decide how you can respond proactively and positively.

By remaining cool and calm when receiving feedback, you will be able to engage in a far more professional and productive conversation. After all, many people are nervous about giving feedback and will not be looking for confrontation.

If the feedback has angered you, take some time out. Consider discussing the feedback with a colleague, or even having a private rant to get it out of your system. Once you are composed, will be ready can address the feedback in a professional and constructive way.


2. Don’t Take it Personally

It’s easy to take feedback personally, so it’s important to remember that receiving feedback isn’t the same as receiving criticism.

Focus on the facts given in the feedback and how you can improve, then move on. We often dwell on feedback and overlay it with our interpretation of what else it could mean. Is there a hidden message? Does this person dislike you? Are you generally bad at your job?

This thought process is not only unhelpful but often wildly inaccurate. Try to focus on your positive performance and use the facts given in feedback to improve on it.

Read the entire article at Bidsketch.