Honest Feedback in SL
I think being open to constructive criticism is difficult. Having people pick apart your work, your behavior, your performance or whatever you do inspires fear in most of us, no matter how healthy our ego. In SL, where so many of us are engaged in highly personal creative work, I think constructive criticism is especially difficult to hear. Having said that, I know I have grown and improved when I have really listened to people who critically evaluate my work. And believe me, for every cheerleader there are about 50 critics who are incredibly quick to point out my errors no matter how big or small.
Over the past week or so I have experienced and observed a number of situations where honest feedback was offered with very mixed results. Because I am feeling a little sassy this morning I thought I would offer up Ches' rules of engagement for offering and receiving criticism.
For the Critic
1) Pick the right time and place
2) Offer thoughtful suggestions, not impulsive bashing
3) Be direct, yet sensitive and kind
4) Be specific and descriptive
5) Do not use criticism as a weapon
For the Creator
2) Don't get defensive
3) Ask questions
4) Read between the lines
5) Act on the criticism only if you think it is valid and will help you to achieve your goals.
I am not offering anything that has not been said a thousand times, by people far more eloquent than I am this drab Saturday morning. Sorry about that folks. Let me just say this -- please correct me when I am wrong. I am harder on myself about my mistakes than you could ever be so don't hold back. If you could refrain from calling me names I would appreciate it, but I appreciate feedback.
I have friends who are designers as do most of us who have been in SL for any length of time. When they drop work on me and ask for feedback they know I will be honest about what I like and where I think the work can be better. Its actually fun to work with people in this way, especially when the relationship is based on trust and mutual admiration.
ETA: The photo above is from our new build. There is a grouping of huge flowers that have sweet sit animations built in to them, scattered in a field of meadow grasses and floral ground cover. I had to add soft floaty particle stars and the bird cage. Of course the bird is sitting on top of the cage as I could not bring myself to lock him up inside. Stop by and tell me what you think!