Maximize your Design Mentor Feedback: 5 Tips
As a creative professional, you’re always looking for ways to get to the next level. You are always looking for ways in which to update your skill set through experience and other elements. One such element involves seeking out a viable, engaging mentor. We’re not designed to go it alone. A great mentor can definitely bring you to the next level, particularly in terms of expanding your perspective and your skill set.
When you have a mentor, it stands to reason that you are going to want to bring your work to them. If they are a mentor that’s worth your time, they will provide you with feedback. This feedback can be intimidating at first. It can even seem a little insulting, if your mentor happens to be blunt in their feedback. However, you’re going to want to get around one or both of those things. You’re going to want to learn to get the most out of the feedback process. To that end, there are a few things you can do.
Diane Domeyer is the Executive Director of The Creative Group, which is perhaps the world’s largest job placement agency for creatives. In her GD USA Magazine article, she outlines the steps below.
Getting The Most Out Of The Feedback Process
Here are some ways in which you can get the most out of your feedback process:
- Bring enthusiasm to the table: Mentors want to work with people who are enthusiastic. To that end, they are eager to work with those who are in turn eager to receive feedback and engage new challenges. Are you going to be enthusiastic? If you respond negatively to feedback, and expect perfectionism from yourself, rethink how that will impact your instructor feedback process.
- Bring goals to your mentor: You have to have goals. Your mentor is going to want to know what those goals are. Bringing those goals to your mentor can create a dialog, in which your mentor respects what you want to achieve, and perhaps has their own thoughts to offer.
- Bring a desire to be challenged: Your mentor is going to respond to someone who is ready to take on new challenges, and is receptive to being given those challenges.
- Bring communication: One thing your mentor is going to value above almost anything else is clear communication. If you have questions, ask them. If you have ideas, share them. If you have concerns, bring them to the table.
- Bring professionalism to the table: If your mentor sets up a meeting, make sure you’re on time. If your mentor tells you something you may not like, be receptive to their constructive criticism. This is professionalism, and it is essential for getting the most out of your relationship.
These are the things your mentee relationship must embrace. For more information on how to find a mentor, and what you need to look for – check out Robert Half’s Career Advice page on the topic. Sessions College for Professional Design builds its educational model on the mentor feedback process, so this is also a fantastic place to begin.