Everyone has an opinion

Ask for an opinion and most of the time you’ll get one.

As a creative person, you are probably used to getting opinions all of the time — from your boss, coworkers, possibly even clients. Sometimes you’ll get useful, constructive insight that gives you the chance to improve, that helps you turn what you are working on into something even better than you imagined.

Then there are those other opinions — often distracting, sometimes disheartening, with the occasional hurt ego — that also somehow manage to dilute your work into something more mediocre, more average than you ever imagined.

When asking for opinions, it’s a bit of a conundrum: if you listen to no one, you learn nothing / if you listen to everyone, you get nothing (good) done.

So what’s a person to do? Obviously everyone wants to keep their clients / bosses happy, yet still create something amazing.

The trick, then, is in deciding what you are asking for in the first place.

By actively seeking only feedback that helps you improve, you give yourself permission to dismiss all opinions that simply want to shock and/or distract you. By framing how you ask for an opinion, it influences the responses you get.

Stop asking general questions such as “What do you think?” and start asking things like “Does the imagery match our target demo?” and “What can we take out in order to make the offer easier to understand?” By being specific, everyone you ask now becomes part of the solution, and you gain valuable insight.

Now that’s an opinion you can use.

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Thanks to Seth Godin for the inspiration for this post.

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