Creative sparring provides a tool to observe and feedback on one 2 one sessions by an independent observer. It is about being a critical friend not an adversary. The technique asks you (the supporter) to draw out from the ‘creative’ where they are going with the idea.

It takes the following form:-


Listening:         +ve              -ve                                    Supporting:       +ve                        -ve


Mark the graph once for each comment by the sparring partner.

Base your scoring on your impression of the impact / perception of the recipient, rather than the intention of the sparring partner.

Score 0 for neutral comments

Score + 1 or – 1 for each simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and +2 or -2 for a simple statement of fact

Score up to +5 or -5 for high impact statements and note then down below the grid


+ve         simple encouragement like ‘yes’ or ‘I Iike that’

Helpful comments like ‘it might appeal to children too..’

-ve          criticism without being constructive e.g. ‘it will be expensive or it won’t sell’



+ve         Encouragement like ‘tell me more’

Helpful open questions like ‘what would you make it from’

-ve          controlling statements e.g. ‘I think my idea is better…’


Here is a Word template for scoring…

Creative Sparring Scorecard_May2017