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How to deal with feedback

Don’t just be resilient - thrive

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Illustration by Alice Prentice

There are a variety of ways you’ll want, need or have to have feedback in your creative career, whether it’s from a creative director on an idea you’re working on, a client, or your line manger. Feedback is a perspective. It's not the ultimate truth. Individual feedback is just a data point, but many data points together can provide valuable information.

Proactively reaching out for feedback and analysing it for our individual growth journey is a potent act of self-empowerment. Let's remember that self-development is not about branding us as good or bad, but about recognising and celebrating the qualities we have already developed and identifying and working on what we haven't mastered  – yet. 

Here, we present an extract from our Creative Mindset Masterclass with FutureLearn on resilience led by Elvira Barriga, Creative Director, a transformation coach, and the co-founder of Tales of Tomorrow. It is designed to not just make you resilient to the challenges and knock-backs that can come with working in the creative industry, but to learn from these events and thrive.

How to Receive and Use Feedback

First, let's acknowledge that feedback is essential for our personal and professional development. 

Second, celebrate your qualities! Acknowledge the beauty and strengths that others see in you (for many of us, that is just as difficult as taking in where we fall short). Take a moment to visualize some past situations where you showed these qualities. How does this make you feel? Observe the sensations in your body. 

Then look at the potential areas for development. You don't need to agree with everything but stay open and receptive to what resonates with you. Choose two focus areas (skills, behaviours or attitudes) and set your goals. How do you know that you have progressed and/or achieved your goals?

Next, take a moment to visualize a future situation where you demonstrate your development. Who is there? What are you doing? What is your attitude? How are you feeling? Visualize the situation as vivid as possible.

Then think about the steps and strategies to get there. Be kind to yourself, but don't be lazy.

Pro tip: Share what you are working on with a person you trust.

Reach Out For Feedback

Reach out to a minimum of three friends, three family members, and three people from work or school. Tell them that you're working on your resilience and would love to get some input from people you trust. Ask them to give you honest feedback on the following five questions:  

What are my greatest qualities?

Where is my biggest potential for development?

One thing that I should start doing? 

One thing that I should stop doing? 

One thing that I should continue doing?

Pro-tip: Set-up an online questionnaire if you want to provide the opportunity to give anonymous feedback. You could use tools like Google Form, Typeform, SurveyMonkey, etc. 

Take the Creative Mindset: Resillience course on Future Learn here. Discover more online learning with D&AD here.

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