August 26, 2011

seeking feedback to improve

Feedback is essential to getting better at anything.

When you are first developing competence at something, a balance of both positive and critical feedback is helpful. Positive feedback, being coached forward, is a necessary ingredient to motivate you to keep working on it.

However, what do you do when you get to a place where you have a high level of competence at something?

You know you are good at it. You hear from others you are good at it. How do you get even better? What can help you close the gap with true mastery?

What you need to seek out is critical feedback. From experts, people you admire and respect, those who have achieved mastery themselves in that area or those who are pursuing it.

To quote Jim Rohn "Don't join an easy crowd. You won't grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high". Find the people who are really, really good at what you want.  Ask them what isn't working with what you are doing, and to tell you what you can do better.  And keep track of their feedback, so you can keep working on those areas.

As you become better and better at something, you will need to seek out people with higher levels of competence to give you feedback.  It is simpler - and easier on your ego - to not do so.   But necessary, if you want to be truly extraordinary at something.

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