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PODCAST PALOOZA PLAYBACK: How To Give Feedback About Creative Work

PODCAST PALOOZA PLAYBACK: How To Give Feedback About Creative Work

At AMS, we have a weekly tradition: Podcast Palooza. Once a week, we all gather in our conference room and listen to a few of our colleagues present on podcast episodes. They share their takeaways from their podcast of choice and offer ideas on how it can be applied to our clients and our own company. It’s a small part of the week, but one that consolidates our internal brand as a company that participates in wider conversations, and that listens to the ideas of its employees.

Creative Team member, Ian Holaday, was among the presenters in this week’s Podcast Palooza. He enthusiastically broke down his favorite points from The Accidental Creative’s podcast: How To Give Feedback About Creative Work. This episode discusses how to give feedback effectively on creative projects and how to give it in a way that people can receive it. Here are some takeaways we took from the podcast.

Honor the process

You have to recognize there’s been a lot of effort, possibly even weeks involved in getting to the point where the idea is ready to be presented. When you judge the final 1% of the process by saying “that doesn’t work for me, can you do this, can you do that”, you are not recognizing all the effort and the thought that went into the process. Don’t make snap judgement without taking the time to honor the process. Use the following tactics:

  • Rather than looking at something and reacting, use language like “I see what you’re doing here. I see what you’re trying to do with this approach. So let’s talk through your thought process what brought you to this point. I like how you’re thinking of this aspect of the project. Oh I understand you’ve been working on this a while, help me understand what you worked on.”
  • Rather than making assumptions about what they were thinking give them a chance to explain their rationale in their process.
  • Their process may be solid – So you can say, “Well what if we went in this direction. What if we tried a different execution with the same rationale?” This presents an opportunity to grow and learn as well as make better decisions on a project.

Don’t give edicts, ask questions

Don’t just give responses – ask questions:

  • “Hey I noticed that you did this particular thing, why did you choose to do that? Help me to understand your thought process.”
  • “Hey I noticed you put the logo in this design to a different position, why did you make that decision?”
  • “I noticed you changed the copy in the design, why did you choose to do that?

Allow them to help redirect the project in a meaningful way

Instead of saying, “I don’t like this, go do this,” help them arrive at the solution.

  • Reiterate the problem you’re trying to solve.
  • Try to get buy-in from them toward the solution of the problem by asking questions like:

“How can we better solve this problem?”

“How can we better solve it given the concerns I have?”

This process will bring different perspectives and more people working on the same problem, and you’ll be on your way to building a problem-solving culture!


At AM Strategies we use this technique between our account and creative team as well as during the creative process.

We have the opportunity to share with our clients an appropriate approach to discussing creative to give us the maximum benefit of their feedback while also receiving the quality attention that our agency provides.

We are always on the lookout for innovative, charismatic thinkers, so send your podcast recommendations our way!

Listen to the entire podcast – The Accidental Creative’s podcast: How To Give Feedback About Creative Work here!

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