2 Comments

  1. Janetta
    June 26, 2018 @ 11:09 am

    Back when I was in tech writing school, one of my instructors gave me a great way to view feedback–specifically revisions to your documentation that you’ve written. I’ve found that it applies to everything I create as a work product. When we create things, we tend to invest in them emotionally, and this ends up being our downfall when it comes to receiving constructive criticism. We have to remember this is just something we did–this thing we wrote/this speech we gave/the photo we took is not our child–it’s just something we put together. So the advice my instructor gave me was, “Don’t emotionally invest in the thing your wrote any more than you would a grocery list.”

    That seemed a little hard for some of us to take, especially if we worked hard on something, so she elaborated:
    Pretend you’ve written a grocery list and sent someone else to the store with it to do your shopping for you. Your list has eggs, 2% milk, bread, and broccoli.
    The person doing your shopping texts you from the store and says, “Hey, they don’t have 2% milk, but they do have 1% milk. Should I get that?”
    In most cases, the answer is yes, this is an acceptable switch.
    Then the person doing your shopping says, “Also, I don’t like broccoli, so I want to get Twinkies instead.”
    This, of course, is NOT an acceptable switch.

    If you can emotionally divest from your writing (or whatever your work product is), you’ll be able to distinguish when a revision is something good that will improve the overall project, and when it’s not a good change and you need to stand your ground. It also causes you to think about *why* changes aren’t acceptable so that you can explain it to your editors/reviewers. Presuming the reviewers have either your best interest or the best interest of the project in mind when working (this is not always the case, but clearly if the criticism isn’t constructive, it won’t be given the same weight), you can safely assume that all revisions will lead to a better end result that your users will be better served by.

     

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    • Jowanna
      June 26, 2018 @ 11:39 am

      I can’t think of one time where feedback did not leave to a better result (even if it did not come from a good place). You are right, you have to make sure it has to serve the project’s best interest. Even when I don’t change something, I do make sure it is relaying the message. Thank you for your insightful comment. xoxo

       

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