You might not have heard of Lullabot, but chances are, you know the names of their famous clientele. General Electric, NBC, Harvard University, and the Grammy Awards have all turned to Lullabot for their expertise in web design and development. Compared with their client list, Lullabot flies under the radar. They have no office. The 55-person company is entirely remote, with representation from every corner of the US. But they still get the job done—and then some.
Think about the most spectacular concert you’ve ever seen. What do you remember most? When you picture the peak moment of the show, chances are, it involved an incredible intersection of light and sound. Without one or the other, that moment wouldn’t have been as memorable.
After days, if not weeks or months, of trashing through ideas and then carefully refining your work, you send your client or manager a product that positively shines. But instead of commending you for your creative genius, they respond in a far more maddening manner. Maybe they dash off a terse “I don’t like it” or send back a long list of overly prescriptive change requests or reply with a vague and confusing request to make it “pop.” Whichever it is, you’ve just received some pretty terrible feedback.
All of us are governed by our own internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, that determine when we’re wide awake and when we need toothpicks to keep our eyes open. We tend to think that we’re at our best during our peak hours: Night owls’ hoots are pitch-perfect in the evening and larks catch the most worms early in the day. But when it comes to creativity, we may be getting it all wrong.
Even the most skilled creative team will occasionally miss the mark. Maybe their aim was slightly off, or you perhaps you were looking at totally different targets. Providing useful feedback can help everyone realign and pull the project’s objective into sharper focus. But helping them draw the best version out of their creative quiver can be a challenge. You want to be precise without micromanaging, kind without being condescending, and direct but not dismissive. With all these fine lines to walk, how do you make sure your feedback sparks forward momentum and doesn’t derail the project? The following tips will help ensure you and your creative colleagues are communicating effectively, so that you end up with a final product everyone is proud of.
DJ Steve Aoki is a two-time Grammy-nominated international producer/DJ, entrepreneur, and founder of Dim Mak Records. As one of the highest-grossing dance artists in North America, it’s no surprise he’s in high demand. His recently collaborated with the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Bok Nero, T-Pain, 2Chainz, and Gucci Mane, to name just a few.