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Faceless Feedback: The Challenge

One of the greater challenges facing clients today is that of providing writers feedback. Like any working relationship, ensuring your authors get good, constructive feedback is critical to getting the content you really need. In our experience, getting authors the right feedback at the right time can be the difference between success and failure of your content. We hope these tips help you give better, more effective feedback.

The Challenge

One of the points outlined in a dummies’ guide to feedback is the importance of giving it face-to-face.

In circumstances where you can use your intonation and facial features to convey your message, you can ensure your criticisms are taken constructively. Once this level of interaction falls away, you’re left with the challenge of giving faceless feedback.

Follow these five Ps to make sure your faceless feedback is effective.

P#1: Prepare

Bearing in mind employee feedback is one heavily weighted factor in ensuring your working relationships develop in the right direction, it’s absolutely vital to prepare. Make sure you know what you want your evaluations to achieve, make sure you have examples of what you need changing, and make sure you’re aware of how you present any criticism.

P#2: Positive

There are a few sentences which send that cold chill of fear down anyone’s spine. “We need to talk“ is one of those horror statements you hope never to have to hear in any working or private relationship context. The inevitable consequence of this statement is that your conversation partner will enter survival mode – their main objective will be to get out of the conversation alive.

 

This is why it’s important for you to open any evaluations with something positive. Look for the qualities in an article you want to see continued – if a lot of research has been done, for example, praise this hard work. Make it clear what you like.

P#3: Prompt

Give your feedback in a prompt, timely manner. Especially in cases where you’re ordering a large volume of content, it’s important for both you and your authors to see the relevance in the feedback you give. If you wait until a project is completed before letting your writers know what you think, it’s highly likely you’ve both forgotten what it is you’re criticising.

P#4: Parry

This is one subtle, yet effective tip to make sure your ideas are taken on board. Especially given the anonymous nature of Textbroker, it’s dead easy for any criticism to sound more aggressive than it’s meant to be. This is why it’s a worthwhile idea for you to do some deflecting.

Address issues in the text, not the author. Criticism such as “you haven’t checked the spelling“ could be rephrased as “there are a couple of spelling errors in the text“, for example. Make sure the emphasis is on the work, not your writer.

P#5: Provide

If there’s something you don’t like about an article, provide ideas about what can be changed. This is important to make sure your feedback is productive in the long term – make sure your authors know the direction they should be going in. After all, authors are not mindreaders.

And as a final point, it’s important to make yourself open to questions. Questions from your writers show they’re keen to meet your requirements. Making yourself open to questions and answering them as best you can is one very effective way to establishing a long-term working relationship.


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