On Giving Feedback with Curiosity


I was thrilled and surprised to see my 4-year-old draw this person today!

Until this morning, I was completely unaware that he knew how to draw people.

I held myself back from my reflexive desire to rave about how beautiful and amazing the drawing is. Reminding myself to stay curious rather than judge, I asked questions and told him how it makes me feel “I’m so happy You’ve practiced drawing enough to be able to draw a person! Can you tell me about it?”

Thrilled by my interest, he explained who the person is,and proceeded to draw more people- seemingly unconcerned with whether they were “good” or “bad”, rather happy and excited to engage in the act of creation.

It takes effort to ask questions rather than give a value judgment, but it’s so important when starting a conversation with someone about their work to approach it from an angle curiously and interest.

The ability to think about your own work without judging it as good or bad creates room for creativity and learning. It takes practice and effort because so many of us have been culturally conditioned to judge work before thinking about it.

The next time you leap to judge yourself or your work, try to pause, and take a moment to feel curious about it instead.