The Art Of Visual Storytelling

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What makes your images yours is your point of view. To find your voice tell your story.

Plan Your Story

 

Every Picture Tells A Story
There are countless kinds of stories to tell and ways to tell them.

Make Plans    Free to Members
Increase your productivity and fulfillment by making a plan.

Define a Project    Free to Members
Focus your creative efforts and create an action list to achieve your goals.

Developing Personal Projects
Defining a project is one of the single best ways to develop your body of work.

Keep Your Current Projects Visible
What kinds of visual reminders would be helpful to you?

Perform An Annual Creative Review
At the beginning of every year I review the accomplishments of the past year.

The Benefits Of Performing An Annual Image Review
You’ll learn a great deal about your vision when you perform an annual image review.

The Benefits Of Selecting Your Top Images
Find your current best works and compare them to your past.

 

Discover & Develop Your Story

 

Finding Your Best Work  Free to Members
Find your best work efficiently.
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Sleepers & Keepers
Our strongest images combine immediate impact and staying power.
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Singular Images    Free to Members
Identify the superstars in your work.
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A Dominant Impression    Free to Members
How to find the “Dominant Impression” in your work.
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A Train of Thought    Free to Members
Look for the ways you approach making photographs and think visually.
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A Body of Work    Free to Members
Bodies of work add depth to and extend ways of seeing.
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Outliers
They’re the images that don’t fit neatly into a body of work.
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7 Benefits Of Returning To Locations
With so many wonderful places, why return to the same location more than once?

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Structure Your Story

 

3 Great Books On Photographic Contact Sheets

Develop your thoughts faster and more clearly with collections.
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Use The Power Of Storyboarding To Structure Your Photographic Explorations
Create a guiding structure to help focus and strengthen your work.
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Use Storyboards To Improve Your Lightroom Collections | Coming
Create sequences to find what’s missing and new opportunities.

Use The 8 Classic Shots Of Photo Essays To Tell Better Stories
Find more shots and tell more of your story with this structure.
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Arranging   Free to Members
Activate the powerful chemistries that exists between images.
Continuity   Free to Members
Make a visual journey compelling from beginning to end.
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Transitions   Free to Members
Create exciting effects by controlling shifts and turns in your story.
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Expand Your Story

 

How To Strike Up A Lively Conversation With Your Images
Not sure where to go or what to do? Ask your images!

Association
Discover and develop underlying qualities and themes.

Metaphor
Work on more than one level simultaneously.

Variation    Free to Members
Find many ideas or turn one idea into many variations.

Combination    Free to Members
Create synergy between existing elements in your images.

Reversal
Use reversal to open new doors in your creative process.

Break The Rules
Unlock new creative possibilities.

 

Find Your Next Story

 

Your Next Story  | Coming

 

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How To Use Words Improve Your Creativity

 

Use Your Words

 

Watch Your Process 
It’ll change your life.

Take Notes 
See, remember, and produce more.

Talk With Yourself 
Don’t worry, it’s not crazy. We all do it.

Listen To Yourself 
The words you use reveal a lot.

Turn Your Inner Critic Into An Ally 
Your inner critic can be a terrible adversary or a powerful ally.

Coach Yourself
Energize yourself. Affirm your abilities. Set tangible goals.

Avoid Should
Instead ask, “What happens when I?”

 

Discover & Develop Your Story

 

Every Picture Tells A Story Free to Members
Every picture tells a story.

Discover Subjects With Nouns 
Make a list to identify more subjects and more about your potential subjects.

Discover Actions With Verbs
Make a list to find out more about what’s going on around you.

Discover Qualities With Adverbs And Adjectives
Make a list to find how you really feel about your subjects and put that into your images.

Seeing With New Eyes
Ask these questions to uncover new perspectives and ideas.

Strike Up A Lively Conversation With Your Images With These Questions | Coming
Find out more about your images and your reactions to them. Talk with them.

Guiding Questions | Coming
Generate ideas and guide your work with these essential questions.

Ask 100 Questions | Coming
This exercise is sure to stretch you, reveal personal perspectives, and generate new ideas.

Free Associate To Find Feelings, Thoughts, Memories, Connections
Identify the things happening outside you and take time to explore what’s going on inside.

Association
Learn how to deepen your relationships with your work.

Content, Form, Feeling
What kind of story are you telling?

Metaphor
Use metaphor to guide you deeper into a subject.

 

Clarify Your Vision & Style

 

The Differences Between Vision & Style 
Vision is what you have to say; style is how you say it.

What’s Your Vision ? | Coming

What’s Your Style ? Free To Members
Identify the basic visual elements in your work.

What’s Your Subject? | Coming

What’s Your Theme ? | Coming

Motivation – Dig Deep – Ask Why Five Times | Coming

Make Plans  Free to Members
Increase your productivity and fulfillment by making a plan.

Define a Project  Free to Members
Focus your creative efforts and create an action list to achieve your goals.

Developing Personal Projects 
Defining a project is one of the single best ways to develop your body of work.

Clarify Your Mission, Goals, Projects, Actions

Make Your Bucket List 

 

Tell It Your Way

 

The Way You Tell Your Story Is Part Of Your Style | Coming

3 Ways To Tell A Story More Creatively – It, I, You
Tell the story of your subject. Actually, tell three stories.

Most Stories Have A Beginning, Middle & End | Coming

Explore Different Story Structures | Coming

The Hero’s Journey | Coming

7 Essential Plots | Coming

 

Share Your Story

 

Why Sharing Your Story Is Important | Coming

How To Ask For Useful Feedback

How To Title Your Images

How I Title My Images 

Artist’s Statements  Free to Members

Tell Us About It In One Sentence, One Phrase, One Word | Coming

Loglines – Identify The Function Of Individual Images In Sequences| Coming

Core Stories  | Coming

Elevator Pitches  | Coming

Bylines, Bios, & CVs  | Coming

 

 

Play With Words

 

Breaking the Rules  Free to Members

Creative Fear List 

If You Were A …  | Coming

It’s Kind Of A Cross Between …  | Coming

What If … | Coming

Write A Story In One Sentence | Coming

Write A Three Line Poem | Coming

Magnetic Poetry | Coming

 

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Creative Mindfulness

 

You can be as creative with your mindfulness practice as you are with your art. They support each other.

 

7 Great Great Resources For Developing Your Creative Mindfulness Practice
The plans you make are there to further your progress.

What Is Meditation
How do I find inspiration?

Meditation Can Be / Doesn’t Have To Be A Religious Experience
Meditation isn’t a religious practice.

All Religions Practice Forms Of Meditation
Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all practice forms of meditation.

Benefits of Meditating
You will create many benefits for yourself by meditating.

The Physical Benefits of Meditating
There are many clinically proven physical benefits of practicing meditation.

Increase Your Awareness Of Your Body Through Meditation
For much of our daily lives we are unconscius of our bodies.

How Many Thoughts A Day Do You Think?
On average, we each think 60,000 thoughts a day.

How Long Should I Meditate?
The question will serve you much better if you consider it over time.

How To Find Time For Meditation?
You can find time for meditation without changing your schedule.

Increase Your Awareness Of Your Environment Through Meditation? 
Spend some time becoming more aware of the miracles that surround you.

Increase Your Awareness Of Your Mind Through Meditation.
Consciousness is one of the great riddles of the universe for which there are few answers.

Increase Your Awareness Of Your Emotions Through Meditation.
For most of us, when it comes to emotions, our thinking is often unclear.

 

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Read More

6 Masters On How To Be An Artist

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You can learn a lot from watching how other artists work, especially if they’re working in another medium. Figuring out how you work in similar ways to produce your own authentic works is an exercise in creativity itself. And creativity is like a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it grows.

You’re sure to be inspired by these 6 masters.

Anni Albers
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Helen Frankenthaler
Hannah Hoch
Donald Judd
Jacob Lawrence
 
Find more How To Be An Artist posts here.
Find more in my social networks – Facebook and Twitter.
Get more great  curated content with my newsletter Insights.
 

How Your Habits Can Make You More Creative

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They Did It This Way
Did you know?
Ludwig Van Beethoven religiously took walks in nature to find new musical ideas.
Georgia O’Keefe cultivated her garden for improved health. Upon hearing that John Marin had completed three canvases in one day the first thing she asked him was what he ate that day.
Agnes Martin’s rigorous meditation practice helped her manage her schizophrenia and find inspiration for her paintings
Ernest Hemingway stopped writing before he didn’t know what to say next so that he knew where to pick up in the morning.
Thomas Edison slept upright with a metal ball in his hand to wake him up so that he could record the ideas he found during light sleep before he lost them in deep sleep.
You Do It Your Way
No two artists do it quite the same way. Your art is your own. So are the daily rituals that propel your life. Like you, they change over time. The time you spend reviewing your habits, casting aside old unproductive ones and cultivating new productive ones will ensure greater fulfillment and success and quite possibly new breakthroughs.
Habits … they’re the keys to achieving your life goals. Habits are powerful because small things build up to something much bigger over time. Are your habits serving you? If you haven’t reconsidered your habits recently, it’s time. I know it is for me. We don’t have to do this all at once. We just have to get started. And make it a habit to consider our habits.
In this set of resources, you’ll find all kinds of great food for thought including what worked for famous artists like Leonardo, Beethoven, Hemingway, O”Keeffe and many many more.
A Toolkit To Help You Improve Your Habits
Don’t think of these resources as a to-do list. You can’t do it all! What’s most important is making time and space for the things in your life that are the most important to you.
Think these resources as toolkits to help you craft the life you want to live!
 

Schedule

How To Schedule Your Day For Peak Creative Performance

Exercise

Why Exercise Makes You More Creative

Why Walking Helps Us Think

Can A Simple Walk Improve Your Creative Thinking?

Beethoven’s Daily Habit For Inspiring Creative Breakthroughs

Diet

Need A Creative Boost? Take A Look At Your Diet

From Picasso’s Rice Pudding to O’Keeffe’s Green Juice, the Favorite Snacks of Famous Artists 

Sleep

Taking a Nap Could Make You More Creative

Scientists Agree – Coffee Naps Are Better Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

Can Sleep Make You More Creative ?

How Famous Artists Dealt With Insomnia

Stress

Artists Share Their Rituals For Dealing With Stress

Meditation

Why Meditating Might Make You A Better Artist

How Disconnection Boosts Your Creativity

Want to Be More Creative At Work? Stop Working !

Artists

Legendary Cellist Pablo Casals, at Age 93, On Creative Vitality And How Working with Love Prolongs Your Life

The Daily Routines Of 12 Famous Writers 

The Daily Routines Of Great Writers

The Morning Routines of Famous Artists, From Andy Warhol To Louise Bourgeois

The Daily Routines Of 10 Women Artists, From Joan Mitchell To Diane Arbus

7 Famous Artists Who Made Great Work Late At Night

Quotes

41 Great Quotes About Habit

 

That’s a lot! Don’t eat it all at once! Savor it over time!

Start here.

Can Sleep Make You More Creative ?

41 Great Quotes On Habits

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Enjoy this collection of quotes on habits.
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“We become what we repeatedly do.” ― Sean Covey
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Gandhi
“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
― Samuel Smiles
“Habit is stronger than reason.” – George Santayana
“The only way we could remember would be by constant re-reading, for knowledge unused tends to drop out of mind. Knowledge used does not need to be remembered; practice forms habits and habits make memory unnecessary. The rule is nothing; the application is everything.” ― Henry Hazlitt
“Habit is a second nature that destroys the first. But what is nature? Why is habit not natural? I am very much afraid that nature itself is only a first habit, just as habit is a second nature.” – Blaise Pascal
“We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race which daily hastens us towards death, the body maintains its irreparable lead.” – Albert Camus
“Get the habit of analysis – analysis will in time enable synthesis to become your habit of mind.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
“The real key is to live in an environment where the mind feels free to choose the right thing instead of being compelled by habit and inertia to choose the wrong thing.” – Deepak Chopra
“I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.” ― Warren Buffett
“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Your little choices become habits that affect the bigger decisions you make in life.” ― Elizabeth George
“Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” ― Samuel Johnson
“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.” – Horace Mann
“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” ― John Irving
“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).” – Stephen R. Covey
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcolm Gladwell
“Habits change into character.” – Ovid
“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions.It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” – Tony Robbins
“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy
“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” – Benjamin Franklin
“All people are the same; only their habits differ.” – Confucius
“Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact… It turns out that choices lead to habits. Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts. You’re not born this way, you get this way.” – Seth Godin
“Successful people aren’t born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do.” ― William Makepeace Thackeray
“The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.” – Steven Pressfield
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – Colin Powell
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
“Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.” – Twyla Tharp
“The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts.” – Henry Moore
“If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream.” – John Maxwell
“The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.” ―Bryant McGill
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ―John C. Maxwell
“True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.” – Jean Cocteau
“Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” ― Mark Twain
“Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.” – George Gurdjieff
“Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good.” – Benjamin Franklin
“A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.” ― Erasmus
“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.” – Mark Twain
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“Drop by drop is the water pot filled.” – Buddha
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Explore The Essential Collection Of Creativity Quotes here.
View The Essential Collection Of Creativity Videos here.
Discover more quotes in my social networks.
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8 Masters On How To Be An Artist

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You can learn a lot from watching how other artists work, especially if they’re working in another medium. Figuring out how you work in similar ways to produce your own authentic works is an exercise in creativity itself. And creativity is like a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it grows.

You’re sure to be inspired by these 8 masters.

Henri Matisse

Mark Rothko

Francis Bacon

Edvard Munch

Willem de Kooning

Keith Haring

Joan Mitchell

Agnes Martin

 

Plus enjoy 33 Ways To Be More Creative.

Find more How To Be An Artist posts here.

Find more in my social networks – Facebook and Twitter.
Get more great curated content with my newsletter Insights.

The Famous Philosophical Thought Experiment Mary’s Room


“Imagine a neuroscientist who has only ever seen black and white things, but she is an expert in color vision and knows everything about its physics and biology. If, one day, she sees color, does she learn anything new? Is there anything about perceiving color that wasn’t captured in her knowledge? Eleanor Nelsen explains what this thought experiment can teach us about experience.”
Find more Creativity videos here.
Learn more in my Creativity workshops.

11 Ways To Give And Get Useful Feedback

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Ask For It
Do you want more than polite conversation when you share your images? Ask for the kind of feedback you’re looking for. When you share images without a request for feedback, the number of responses you get goes down, and the content changes. Without an invitation, people often feel hesitant to share their responses. If they do, they may not know how far to go and end up not going as far as you’d like them to. So, if you’re looking for feedback when you share your work — ask for it. Often, you’ll find people are happy to share more of their opinions with you.
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Be More Specific
The way you ask for feedback can make a big difference in the kind of responses you get and how useful they are. If you don’t make a specific request, the responses you get will be general and unfocused. Conversely, you can qualify the type of feedback you’re giving someone. State your approach before giving your feedback.
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Ways To Give Feedback
There are as many ways to direct the kind of feedback you get as there are ways to give feedback. Here’s a list of eleven different kinds of feedback and ways to ask for it. You can ask the questions of either single images or groups of images. (You can even use this list to easily copy and paste questions when you post images online. Or make your own.)
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1     Numerical Ratings
Ask, “Please rate this image on a scale of 1-5 (1 is low and 5 is high).”
Optionally, you can ask for numerical ratings on a particular element.
Ask, “On a scale of 1 to 5, how strong is the ___ in this image?”
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2     Relative Ranking
Ask, “Please rank these images from strongest (1) to weakest (highest number).”
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3     Core Strengths
Ask, “What’s the best thing about this image?”
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4     Strengths & WeaknessesSeparate them.
Ask, “What are the strong points of this image?”
Ask, “What are the weak points of this work?”
Or combine them.
Ask, “What are the strengths and weaknesses of these images?”
(It’s SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) simplified.)
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5     Improvements
Ask, “What would you do to improve this image?”
Or, ask, “What would you do to improve future images like this one?”
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6     Content / Form / Feeling
Ask, “Please rate the strength of these images in these three categories (on a scale of 1-5); content, form, and feeling.”
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7     Identify Themes
Ask, “Please identify any themes you see in these images.”
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8     Free Associate
Ask, “When you see this image, what do you think of? Please free-associate!”
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9     Feeling
Ask, “What emotions do you feel when you look at this image? Don’t hold back!”
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10     Uses
Ask, “Please identify possible uses for these images.”
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11     Questions
Ask, “Please list any and all questions you can think of when you look at these images.”
This is just a start. There are many other ways to give and solicit feedback. Make your own list. Use anything from this list, whenever and wherever you please.
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Being more specific will greatly increase the value of the feedback you ask for, get, and give.
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Feedback Is Valuable
Major corporations spend thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars to get user feedback on their products. They spend a lot of time refining the questions they ask before they seek feedback. They know that doing this will make the results they get much more meaningful and valuable. You can get free feedback on your social networks. Imagine if that feedback was not only supportive but also helpful?
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Giving Feedback Is A Skill That Can Be Learned
Giving feedback on images is not something that seems easy for many people. For some reason, it seems much easier to give written feedback on something that’s been written. We were taught how to comment on texts in school; it’s a skillset we’ve learned and practiced. Unless you were an art history or a communications major, the chances are high that you weren’t taught how to comment on images; this too is a skill set that can be learned and practiced. (Terry Barrett’s Criticizing Photographs is a good resource.)
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Critical or Useful
Sooner or later, we all face the same question, “How do we give useful feedback that is constructive without being negative?” We’ve all learned that criticism can be constructive, but it’s very hard to give it well. Tough love often gets so tough you can’t feel the love any more. Breaking spirits isn’t useful; helping them grow stronger is. There is an art to giving feedback, one we can all learn and practice. It’s quite likely that if we do this, we’ll become better people and make the world a better place.
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The new field of appreciative inquiry has a great deal to offer here. (For a quick primer, read Appreciative Inquiry by David L Cooperrider.) Psychologists use it. Negotiators use it. Businesses use it. We can too. Giving good feedback starts with a good attitude. Start with what’s best about something — instead of what’s worst. This is a totally different attitude than asking “Is it good?”, which is much too general. (Good relative to what? How good? Good in what ways?) Instead try asking, “What’s the best thing about this?” After identifying core strengths, and only after, move to how something can be made even better.
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Give Yourself Feedback
Self-talk is really important. What kind of feedback do you give yourself? How often? Is it helpful? You can use all of these techniques for yourself. You don’t have to wait for or be limited by others.
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Feedback is valuable. So … Invite it. Guide it. Receive it. Give it.
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