To create anything is to put yourself on the line, and it’s hard. To do so consistently and around people with any number of opinions on your work is even harder. And often, when people give us criticism, we tend to react defensively. We dig our trenches, resolving to not budge an inch. After all, to accept criticism or a creative critique is to admit fault, and who wants to be wrong?
But when you’re in a collaborative workspace, and your creative decisions affect your fellow creators, rigidity just isn’t an option. To refuse to even listen to your coworkers isn’t just a sign of immaturity, it’s counterproductive. Office gridlock wastes time, which when you’re working on a tight content calendar becomes a scarce resource.
It’s important to tell the difference between the types of critique that exist. When you ask your editor for an opinion on a piece of copy, they’re reading it to see how it fits with the publication as a unit. It’s about collaborating to create something bigger and better.
Productive Collaboration in Creative Workspaces
We all have blind spots. One of the most common, in the editorial world at least, are ‘fallback words.’ These are words we tend to revert to when we can’t think of a better way of saying something. We don’t notice these in our own proofreads because we’re so used to them. Only a new set of eyes can really notice these.
When we’ve been working on a project for a long time, it’s normal to start to get attached to certain creative choices we make. The way we see something, however, is different than the way our audience will see it. The best way to gauge the general reaction to anything is to show it to people that are removed from the process. Though the work itself is subjective, we need a variety of opinions to fairly assess something.
As with everything else, we always achieve more through cooperation than we do alone. As creators, we depend on our coworkers to give us constructive, useful feedback. Only through listening and learning from those different to us can we grow as creators and publish consistently impressive content.