I have long pondered the importance of feedback.
I am still somewhat undecided on the matter. On one hand, feedback can help one improve. On the other hand, feedback is highly subjective and can result in social comparison and crippling anxiety.
I have a love-hate relationship with feedback.
I crave feedback. I like numbers. I like CrossFit score boards. I like race results. In the past, I have referred to this tendency of mine as Lisa Simpson syndrome.
Then, as I ask and receive criticism (no matter how constructive), I struggle not to take it personally.
Teaching at the college and university level for a number of years proved invaluable in giving me plenty of opportunities to receive feedback, as well as reflect on its relative (lack of) utility.
“Kate speaks too fast”. “Kate speaks too slowly”.
“I love all the stories and examples that Kate uses in her classes”. “I wish she would stop with all the stories and examples, and just got to the point”.
“More videos, please!” “Less videos, please!”.
“Kate is the best!” “Kate is the worst!”
Ummm… yeah. Thanks, y’all. I’ll make sure to take all of these into consideration.
Our tech team (at Precision Nutrition) incorporates a feedback tool into their work flow – the feedback loop. Every two weeks, we pause, reflect and ask ourselves three questions:
1. What worked? 2. What didn't work? 3. What will we do differently?
I like this approach, because it emphasizes self-reflection over external KPIs (key performance indicators), and fits well with any regular goal review system. I have been on a major infographic/flowchart/diagram kick lately, so I've been trying to figure out a way to incorporate these questions into a diagram, including the variables of time and output (results). Here's what I came up with:
What do you think?
YOUR TURN: Do you love feedback? Hate feedback? How do you avoid getting caught up in the social comparison that feedback often triggers?
Liked this post? Check out my recent essay on path to progress (along with another diagram!).