Giving good feedback is a skill that takes practice, so the earlier you can start flexing your feedback muscles, the better off you'll be. This week, Rebecca Chien, Senior Strategist at RAPP, shares her thoughts on why you should voice your feedback as a junior and tips on how to overcome some very real (and very common) barriers, so you can deliver quality feedback. Here's Rebecca—
“What do you think?” As a junior strategist, I choked. What do I think? I have thoughts…but are they valid? They’re way more experienced. What if I insult them? Or say something stupid?
Giving feedback as a junior can be daunting. But if done right, there are plenty of benefits to speaking up as soon as your first day in the office. Here’s why you should do it:
Your opinion matters. You were hired because you’re smart. Plus, even without years of advertising experience, you have years of experience living. Often, that’s enough to say if something makes sense or not.
You’ll learn more. You’ll never know if your feedback is valid or not if you don’t share it. Whether people agree or disagree with you, either outcome is an opportunity to learn.
Being wrong is ok. The consequences of giving wrong feedback can sound terrifying. But feedback shared in the right way can’t be too wrong. Especially if you’re new, people know you’re still learning. So make those mistakes while you can!
You’ll earn respect. Your feedback may initially be downplayed, but consistently providing good feedback and standing up for quality work will make you an asset to the team. It won’t be long before they start seeking out your opinion.
So now that you know why you should give feedback as a junior, how do you give good feedback?
1) Follow the leaders. In a creative review, let the Creative Director and any senior in your department speak first. Since they have more experience, you can learn from what they say and more importantly, how they say it. Then afterwards, you can use their feedback to bolster yours.
2) Be constructive, not critical. The goal is to make the work better. State your issue, why you have it, and what might resolve it. No need to be too prescriptive with the suggestions. Just help point the team in the direction of a better solution.
- 3) Clarify your purpose. Don’t let your feedback be taken as personal preference. Clearly articulate what you’re trying to achieve. Instead of saying, “This image doesn’t stand out enough,” explain, “This image may not catch the audience’s attention in the two seconds we have."
4) Choose your battles. Sometimes your feedback will get contradicted and you still won’t agree. If you feel it’s an important matter, consult your boss or a teammate privately. If they agree, they can help you argue your case. If not, don’t sweat it. You already called it out the first time. If it really is a problem, it will likely get addressed further up the chain or by the client. You've done your part.
5) Give compliments. Feedback isn’t always negative! If you think something is really amazing, say it. Just keep your compliments genuine. Don’t use them for a feedback sandwich to make the negative feedback easier to swallow.
In your first job, it’s natural to feel your opinions and thoughts don’t matter or shouldn’t be voiced because you lack experience or don’t want to step on any toes. But if you muster up the courage and apply these tips, you’ll likely surprise yourself and impress your coworkers along the way.
You got this,
Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn.