It is a Friday afternoon, you have just finished working on a project. You look around you, most of the people have already left for the happy hours to the nearest bar. The boss has left to meet her lover before heading home to her husband who is busy with his secretary at work. You are the last one, all the systems are shut. Yours’ is the only one emitting light and the reflecting glare on your glasses hiding the stress your eyes have gone through to complete the assignment you were given.
This loneliness hits you with both, a thrilling joy of finishing the work you had undertaken but also a bit of sadness about the fact that there is no one to see your work. You aren’t seeing validation for your work here. May be a slight rise of the eyebrows and good job from a peer or a superior or even a junior is enough for you to make your effort worthwhile. You pat your own back and tell yourself,”you have done a good job”. A bit empty yet nevertheless more satisfying than no commendation.
This brings us to the age long question you often ask yourself before you post a new photo of yours online or a video of you playing a guitar,”Who should review this first?”. Getting feedback is important, otherwise you are just a borderline narcissist who expects everyone to think you barf rainbows.Now that you are alone in your cubicle and have completed your work. Let us discuss why you need a feedback and who do you need it from.
PICKING THE ASSHOLE WHO YOU LOVE AND HATE
This feedback should be brutally honest. You are not seeking feedback for who you are as a person but feedback for the work you have accomplished. Remember to keep those two things separate when you ask a critic to evaluate your work. You may dislike his or her for harsh criticism but also appreciate the brutal honesty for the help in self improvement. Don’t take the asshole’s feedback personally.
SET THE FIELDS WHERE YOU WANT FEEDBACK
A critic is like a kitchen knife. You can use it to cut fruits and vegetables or you can choose to stab yourself with it. Keep the critic at a safe distance and tell him or her what you want to get a feedback about. It can be the logo that you have designed for the water bottle company that is selling overpriced water that is no different from the tap water he or she is drinking or it can be the pie you have baked to give your boss for the leave sanction that you are going to slide onto his table soon. Be clear about what you want an opinion on and don’t let the knife go astray.
DON’T LOOK AT YOUR WATCH
Yes, it is understandable that you are excited to get feedback and also anxious to submit to your overlord who will judge your work. This understanding should also be shared by you who is expecting a feedback from someone. Patience is virtue and you don’t want the feedback to skip important aspects that might actually help yo improve your work.
ATLEAST PRETEND TO BE CURIOUS
There are probably times when you know that the salt in your curry isn’t in the right amount and there are times where the colour gradient of your logo design is spot on. Yet, you just want to hear it from someone else for some amount of assurance. Keep yourself curious about the feedback and ask yourself what made the critic give such a feedback to get a deeper understanding of your work.
GO GRAB A DRINK
A feedback at times can be overwhelming you to process it all at once. Take a break with a friend, go grab a drink or relax for a while. This is the buffer than you need between the feedback and correction or submission. Just don’t go with the same critic who gave you the feedback or even if you do, just avoid talking about work. It is a good way to ease yourself before you get started again without the feedback putting too much pressure on you.
These a few ways to get feedback.Do you have any good ways to get helpful feedback? If so,just discuss it in the comment.
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Author: The Brown Nomad
Also published on Medium.