The importance of feedback

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2 years ago

The unconscious incompetent

When we're beginning to learn a skill, we won't make the new Mona Lisa or 9th simphony with just a stroke and an idea. learning all this will take you a long road, which might be even longer than you expect If you do It all by yourself and only having your intuition to help you. Don't get me wrong, intuition is a critical skill when you are in advanced stage of your learning curve, though this intuition will only be perfected through constant practice and as you learn in the process. When you're just beginning to compose, write, paint or to practice any activity that requires your solitary effort and concentration, you'll notice right off the bat the amateur quality of your efforts when compared to the great exponents in that field, you know that It's not good, however, you don't know why or what exact areas are flawed and how they affect the final product. This is when feedback comes handy to straighten our path towards what we want to achieve. In this post we'll look at how feedback can help us to improve in any field we choose, how to seek for the right kind of feedback and how to differentiate feedback that helps us from just any destructive critique. Let's start:

The right kind of feedback

You might think that just asking a friend about what they think of the drawing you just made is good feedback, though more than not, It won't be the case, they'll just say It's cool and go back to what they were doing. The problem with this is that even If they really liked It, they didn't make that statement out of analysis from a knowledgeable source in which they recognized why It's good, they just liked It. When searching for feedback for your creations in order to improve and know in what areas you need more practice, you have to look for a constructive, objective and descriptive mention of Its flaws and good points, which will only come from a place, an expert point of view. It doesn't have to be an expert per sé, just a person with enough knowledge and experience in that craft to explain you the causes of your problems and how to overcome them. In this way you can focus in what you really need to learn based on their sage statements/advices.

Differences: Feedback and destructive critiques.

You can notice right away If "feedback" is going a little bit off the rails. As you get better and better in what you do, this will unavoidably trigger envy from some people, usually those who haven't put enough effort in making their work better and still are behind the curve. This individuals need justification for why their work is mediocre and they'll usually find It in people not having enough "taste" to realize their fine pieces of art. In this way, when they see someone that has advanced further than them, they'll jump to all kind of criticisms, masked as pieces of advice. You'll notice this right away, seeing It in the tone they use when they say It or write It, and in the way the criticisms seem to be too personal, not really saying anything about your work. What good feedback is, is just showcasing the flaws regarding your work in a respectful manner, mentioning why they might have occurred and giving pieces of advice on how to making It them better, and If you hit the spot at one point, complimenting It, just that.

Advantages of Feedback:

Feedback might possibly be why people still take tests and go to class nowadays. It just gives you new perspectives in how to approach the same problem in future iterations and lets you learn from mistakes, with the guide of someone that has already gone through that and might have suffered even more from those errors. Using feedback when you're trying to get proficient at an activity is the only way to learn fast, because It shows you what you should tackle so you can improve and you're not wandering around in every damn thing but the one you should be perfecting. In this way, the importance of Feedback is more than proven, giving us just the right base and teaching us that the wisdom of those mentors comes from experience, and how they had gone through the same process as us in their journey.

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