How to give feedback on ideas

It's not easy to comment on other people's work without pissing them off or making them feel judged. Smart creatives know how to use feedback as a powerful tool to grow the quality of their work and inspire others to do better.

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We recommend you to take feedback very seriously. Without it, ideas can't grow and won't benefit from external inputs. It's evident that two pairs of eyes can see more than one.

To avoid using this tool wrong, we recommend you to follow these principles.

Don't give unwanted feedback
Only comment on people's ideas when they ask you to do it. This rule will save you a lot of arguments. 

Ask for permission
If you want to make some suggestions, but no one asked you to do it, you can still ask for permission. Just say "would you mind if I give you feedback on this?".

Build on top of the idea
Giving feedback is not about proposing a new way of solving the problem. No, that's called "brainstorming". If someone asks you to evaluate on his/her idea and you just propose something different, you'll make that person feel bad.

Use questions
Sometimes the best feedback is to make some smart questions that help the other person get answers him/herself. We wrote a whole article about it.

Don't make it personal
Remember to talk about the idea itself, not about the person that came up with it. Don't mix judging with contributing.