January 26, 2011

Feedback - What do you think?

I've beaten the "work hard" drum a couple of weeks in a row, so a slightly different bent today...It is important to motivate yourself and to work hard.  But Tony Schwartz suggests that there is another key to building toward greatness.  And this one requires a little help.

He points out the importance of seeking feedback from experts periodically.  Heavy emphasis on periodically.  This is not the same as a weekly lesson...

This input requires that you identify an expert and cultivate a relationship with that person.  They must be free to give you the benefit of their experience and you must be ready and willing to accept what they offer you. 

Ask for directed and specific feedback - this will highlight the areas to which you should devote more time and energy in the short term future.  You must craft the questions you will ask before you meet to work with your identified expert to assure that you get the feedback you want.  Going in unprepared will waste their time and thereby reduce the utility of the feedback you receive - help that person focus on the areas you'd like to explore.  Of course, building a relationship will also allow you to identify the areas in which you'd like to focus before meeting.  It is also important to explore the topic areas in which you would like help. 

No one person will be able to help you fine tune every aspect of your playing.  Therefore you must both tailor your request for help and the questions you ask to the specific areas that person can help you grow in and identify other people with whom you should work. 

Recognize some important aspects of asking an expert for help - this person is recognized by you and others as an expert which is why you seek their feedback - respect the inputs you receive, even if they are tough to swallow at first.  Do not mistake the feedback of your peers as being equivalent - experts are identified as such specifically because they are not peers (this is slightly different in very high levels of performance - but for most of us, it is accurate).  Note the feedback you received.  And be prepared to meet again. 

And between those meetings - grow, grow, grow!


Barbara said...

clicking the 'like' button.
I think this where attending as many workshops possible and having one on one with instructors is a big help.
(also, thought I posted on the golf entry but it must have gone missing. That was a good topic, too. Ah heck, I'll inflate your ego a bit more, they have all been pretty good!)

Jen the Harper said...

Thank you Barbara - inflate away ;-D