Fritzie -

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What type of feedback do you seek in your work and on your ideas and from whom do you seek it?

I find that people vary greatly in whether they like or seek feedback on their work and ideas. Some novice artists, for example, seek feedback on technique or composition from a mentor while others keep distant from any sort of input for fear of its stifling their originality and voice.

In conversation or discussion, some people like others to probe their thoughts and scrutinize their arguments critically, while others find such scrutiny too "academic" or heavy.

Some people seek and prefer feedback only from those with expertise in their field and others deliberately seek the popular view or a view from people from different interdisciplinary backgrounds or social contexts.

In what circumstances do you appreciate feedback, from whom, and of what type?

  • Jun 27 2012: As a nurse, foremost I seek feedback from patients themselves, and from their families. I endeavour to understand how their experience has been so far, and how it can be improved. This is where I learn the most…from those most affected by my actions. I look for feedback on my clinical skills from nurse educators.
    I do however find that negative feedback in the healthcare setting (whether from colleagues or clients) will always surface briskly, whether you seek it or not; and often harshly, as opposed to as constructive criticism.
    What I feel is lacking in my profession (and perhaps this occurs in others) is positive feedback from one another (between both nurses and between health professionals), I feel during nurse handover we should exploit the opportunity to commend our fellow staff on their good work, or acknowledge that they have had a very difficult day. This would promote a feeling of success and enjoyment in our field of work, which often (unfortunately) can be a very unenjoyable and taxing profession. Basically I always seek out feedback, and if it is on how I could improve....it would be more beneficial if delivered 'kindly'.
    Perhaps naïvely, I think both the enthusiasm with which we approach our work, and the longevity of our stay in the profession would increase if we took the time to give one another a simple pat on the back, and were thoughtful in the way we approached administering feedback.
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      Jun 27 2012: Alison,
      I think/feel that you have touched on a MOST important part of feedback. People are often quick to judge our actions critically and harshly. I agree that positive feedback is lacking in all aspects of life. Commending each other for good work and acknowledging our efforts is always a boost for all of us. And as you say...it promotes a feeling of success, and enjoyment. I totally agree that the enthusiasm with which we approach our work and other life activities is a very important part of the life experience.

      Most of my life, I am grateful to have an abundance of positive feedback, which has empowered me to move forward with enthusiasm on the life journey. I also GIVE a lot of pats on the back, and intentionally try to recognize the opportunities to do so. Could there be a connection? I believe so...what goes around comes around...give unto others...be what we want to see...It is a most enjoyable cycle that we can nurture in every possible moment:>)
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    Jun 26 2012: I think I am quite egotistical. When I seek feedback I seek it from those that I feel have integrity, and always seek to get objective feedback so I can work out how to improve myself. However, deep in my soul I do crave more to hear from people who back up my own thoughts rather than those who challenge them, because I do so want to be right. At the end, though, I do subdue those cravings and try my best to hear all sides.
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      Jun 26 2012: I also seek feedback from those with integrity who will make objective comment. On your other point, it is human nature to appreciate affirmation if that affirmation is genuine rather than flattery.
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    Jun 25 2012: Being a former teacher (as of this year), I would always have my students tell me what was their most and least favorite assignment and why; their most and least favorite novel and why; what they felt I taught the best and the worst and why; etc. I would use this to gauge what I would teach the next year, and how I could improve my instruction.

    Now on a different level, when I had problems with a certain topic, I of course would go to my colleagues, and they would help me, esp. since I am a "big picture" person and knew what I wanted but didn't quite know how to get there. :-) And when I would have trouble with a class, I would have a colleague come in and be an objective observer in order to see things I wasn't seeing, and it was always beneficial.

    The only time I really didn't always appreciate "feedback" was when I would be evaluated by our administration, for at times, I took umbrage as to what they would say or suggest, for being former math or science teachers, their approaches would be totally different than mine would be, and it was frustrating.

    But overall, I would welcome suggestions as I was one teacher who was always wanting to improve in order to reach more students. However, that is part of my personality as well, for we had many teachers who wouldn't ask for any help/suggestions/feedback and shared nothing; and their classrooms were like their castle and they were the royalty....
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      Jun 25 2012: As an educator, I appreciated that you spoke of your students first. I solicit their feedback more than anyone else because when it's all said and done, they ARE my boss :) It's not to say you agree with everything they tell you or don't scrutinize the reasoning behind it if you don't agree, but it's so important to listen. As for support from colleagues, I like to hear from those physically present in the same building but also appreciate the feedback and advice I get through social networking platforms such as this. These "communities of interest" have been a wealth of information for me.
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        Jun 26 2012: Thank Amy, and you are SOOOO right about the kids being our true bosses (but within reason, of course ;-)), and also that we truly listen to them.

        And glad to read, too, that you are open and do rely on your "communities of interest" in your quest to be the best you can be. I know as being a "team leader" that when a teacher thinks he/she is the king or queen of his castle/classroom, they are not as effective (not a team player....grrrr) as they could be.

        Hope you enjoy your summer. :-)
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    Jun 23 2012: I try to get feedback on a new idea, to validate it all. The idea is practically completed beforehand, but need to confirm, not approval, more confirmation of : strategies, how to get it "outhere" etc.

    Furthermore, I ask people that I trust, that I know want my success, or somehow will benefit from it, because you want the truth.

    At the end, the ball is always in your court, meaning, you know deep in your heart, that the idea is great and achievable, best way is : follow your heart and your guts and go with it!!

    Cheers
  • Jun 28 2012: I recently read and heard about all the problems that psychologists get through counselling people.
    Maaybe lawyers are the same way. I haven't done family law in an awful long time or represented
    preditors of small children in a long time. There is a great deal of badness out there. Why not
    avoid it. There are lots of really bad people,and maybe it hurts one who meets them. Maybe, it
    might rub off. Be Happy.
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      Jul 5 2012: George, you are so intutitive! Research indicates that lawyers are the highest and most reactive to this type of stress. Their personalities can be latered because they are trained to focus on the negative and the flaw. This work comes out of Positive psychology founded by Seligman wh may still be tgheir foremost thinker.
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      Jul 5 2012: George, you are so intutitive! Research indicates that lawyers are the highest and most reactive to this type of stress. Their personalities can bealtered because they are trained to focus on the negative and the flaw. This work comes out of Positive psychology founded by Seligman wh may still b e tgheir foremost thinker.
  • Jun 26 2012: I am a lawyer. It always amazes me that whan you tell someone something; they
    just look weird and blow you off..
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      Jun 26 2012: Can you give a concrete example?
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      Jun 26 2012: George and Fritzie,
      When people appear to look weird/puzzled and blow me off, it gives me the feedback that they don't want to hear what I am saying. That, for me, would be the end of the conversation, because blowing me off gives me feedback indicating that they are not interested in what I am saying.

      If someone appears to look puzzled and asks questions, giving me the feedback that they are interested and confused by what I am saying, then I would continue with the conversation.

      This is what I mentioned in a previous comment on this thread...we can "feel" feedback in every interaction.
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        Jun 26 2012: When people look puzzled and don't ask questions, it could also be that they either do not speak English (or do not speak lawyer?) , don't know what question to ask to understand the situation better., or are intimidated/discouraged about speaking up. (Said like a teacher, I know.)
        Social interaction consists very much of gathering cues and misunderstandings of misreading them. Other animals also gather such cues, as we know, with dogs being excellent at cross species cue reading.
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          Jun 26 2012: LOL....I agree...they may not speak "lawyer"...which often sounds like another language!
          No offence intended George:>)

          I agree...social interaction consists of gathering cues and clues. Yes, I believe other animals gather such cues/clues, instinctively. I believe we have the ability to gather more information as well, when we are open to intuition and instinct. This is what I refer to when speaking about an underlying sense of feedback with each interaction.

          I've had some wonderful "conversations" with people who speak a totally different language. I think communication is something like 65% body language, is it not? So, the actual words and tone impact our interactions to some extent, but I think body language is more important...what do you think?
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        Jun 26 2012: This is entirely speculation, but I think people vary in how articulate their speech is, body language, eyes... So one person may convey the most with spoken language, another with body language, another with eyes... dogs take in cues from smells, which I think humans do also but less consciously.
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          Jun 27 2012: I agree that it varies from person to person. Guess I've got the body language and facial expressions down pretty well! I had a very in-depth conversation with a woman who spoke only Arabic, while I spoke English....with a LOT of gesturing and body language! I also have a smattering of French and Spanish, so I've had conversations with Italians, using a combination of languages....it's really fun!!!
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    Jun 25 2012: Definitely, The small thought processes which transforms into ideas when seeing the situations or requirments, this can be divided into micro ideas where the wholesome of a macro idea shall be transformed to a breakthrough at time irrespective of the situations and also even the idea may seem to be absurd or funny
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    Jun 25 2012: I have been observed frequently in teaching, but you are right that a teacher who has little experience with your subject may be able to notice for you things like how engaged your students seem but not very much about specifics of your curriculum and pedagogy.
    I have always found it extremely valuable to confer about particular students with people who serve the same stiudent.
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      Jun 25 2012: Fritzie, I have observed that most people need to believe that an idea is their own in order to assimilate it and plug it in. What harm is there in that? Thus, I often try to present ideas in the most approachable way i can. It can be a real task for a woman who has grown up in an era which demands that we demand credit for our ideas but I find that it is expedient but the others are right about this too. I often end up with others reaping the rewards of my ideas. However, as a person tasked with feedback- maybe that is what you get paid the big bucks for?
      In addition, I have a cadre of close friends that I ask for feedback and more and more that includes the TED community when I want a wider perspective on issues which are crucial to me.
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        R H

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        Jun 25 2012: Hey Debra! Please see my response to your comment below (I didn't see how to respond directly)... Thnx!
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    Jun 24 2012: In a specified field as a topic, I would usually hope for an expert to give me feedback, but it must be slightly sugar-coated.

    On social issues, I want feedback from everybody from all walks of life.
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      Jun 24 2012: Derek, you raise an important idea in this. Some disciplines or professions don't sugar-coat very much in colleague-to-colleague exchanges. That doesn't mean people in that field are rude but rather that they typically deliver the message straight without any sort of cushioning. An example might be in academic life. If there is a methodological error in a colleague's work or reasoning, someone will likely point it out in a pretty objective way rather than prefacing the remark with praise or something. Colleagues wouldn't say "great idea!" unless they actually thought it was a great idea.

      In communities of art hobbyists, in contrast, it is perhaps more typical for every piece of work shared to be showered with praise. Some people in the community love and expect this, and some feel it makes actual growth to mastery hard. They want real feedback but won't get it from the people to whom they are showing their work.

      The bottom line is that when you ask for feedback, some people are just accustomed from their discipline or culture to deliver it straight and others slightly sugar-coated. Both probably mean only well by it.
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        Jun 24 2012: Understandable, so that is why I attempt to gain personal knowledge into the person addressing me, whereas, I can assess if the individual is being an ass or blunt/helpful.

        So the preface of the meeting is almost crucial for me, and as they say "first impressions are important". I wish people would ease into critiques and not find everything a subject of critique, but any publicly visible and is meant for large audiences should expect critiques and comments of every spectrum.
  • Jun 24 2012: Do people listen to you when you are working?
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      Jun 24 2012: I will assume you are asking in general rather than for me specifically.

      If a person's work is in, say, theater, people watch and listen during rehearsals and shows.

      If a person is a painter, people may watch or listen as well if the person talks while working or pauses to think about what to do next as part of the painting. Thinking aloud is working. Thinking without speaking is also working..

      A writer or person in academic life probably doesn't talk while writing but may pause to discuss work with someone, in which case people listen. The academic or writer is working even when the pen is not moving.

      People working in a laboratory may well talk and troubleshoot together during the experiment and certainly may talk about a person's interpretation of conclusions.
  • Jun 22 2012: I don't consider myslelf to be very intellectual but i am very curious (i have posted quite a lot tonight) and some of these ideas and questions may seem naive or ill-informed to some. However i think despite this it is important to express curiosities, be it to put them to sleep or to develop them.
    With that in mind i welcome any feed back that is informative, critical or elaborative. I appreciate comments from the masterminds of the field that i am diverging in, just as much as I appreciate comments from people who have just as much as a clue as i do. I find that a lot of the time those people can ask very original questions.
    In conlusion i look for commentators who appreciate my curiosity and who are patient with my scope of knowledge.
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      Jun 22 2012: David, I am the same. I particularly appreciate having my scope of thought broadened by those with different backgrounds from mine.
    • Jun 25 2012: David
      You are humble and that is refreshing. You are alot smarter and wiser than you what you think. Nobody knows it all. For me I love to learn new things and as well as sharing what I have learned. TED.com has been a experiment for me. Partly to share my ideas and opinions and partly to learn and partly to to study people thru their comments. I have received and studied positive and negative comments posted on this site for a while. What I have noticed is most comments are pretty good and helpfull. Some comments have not been done with courtesy and respect. But that is to be expected.With that said, Its still a excellent platform to seek and share knowledge. I try to make my comments understandable to all and not talk over people heads. There are good and knowledgable people on TED.com and its a good place to ask questions and seek answers. And share Ideas worth spreading. There are no dumb questions when you do not know the answer. Hopefully the response you get helps. Keep a open mind and you will be surprised what you can learn.
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        Jun 27 2012: Terry, I agree that TED has a wealth of thoughtful, constructive comments and an almost universal interest in carefully considering new points of view.
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    Jun 21 2012: I just want feedback on ideas of mine that might be a little out there or to improve my idea in some significant way.
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      Jun 22 2012: How do you go about getting feedback, Kevin, and from whom? How do you use the feedback you get?
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        Jun 22 2012: I just get feedback in the comments or, in rare instances, email. I just use the feedback to refine my ideas if I find out something in the original idea is wrong, won't work ect.
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          Jun 23 2012: In my question I didn't mean feedback here online but rather in various parts of your life. For example, some of us have some things you might call our specialty and other things that we do with little expertise or background at all. Most of us want to grow in both undertakings, and people use feedback differently along the way.
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        Jun 24 2012: In my normal life I just use feedback to better my understanding and knowledge of what I'm getting feedback for.
  • Jun 27 2012: Actually, someone often does not want a realistic evaluation of there situation. As I get older and
    older I like to argue less and less. In something like family law the person who makes the most
    unrealistic and less successful arguements can make the most money. I guess my mother ruined me
    by taking me to something called Sunday School often. Of course , we bill by the hour in such matters
    not by the results.
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      Jun 27 2012: Hey George,
      Perhaps what is often expected, whether explicitly considered or not, is that we expect people to surrender their way of thinking for ours because we think we earned that right through proven educational success. Just consider what it would take to allow you to capitulate your own assessment of things. Of course, you would think that if someone consulted a professional they would be ready to listen BUT maybe they just arrived at a place of impass and want you to get them passed that point. Our job, in every circumstance is to make the truth more compelling than their illusion. That puts the responsibility squarely back on our shoulders. But hey= remember I am a mom and we are almost all big on getting our kids to shoulder their responsibilites with clear vision and we get paid the big bucks for it- at least the buck -fair or not- usually stops with us!
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    Jun 25 2012: Your points, Antonio, are important. Some people who offer feedback have the background to advise on some aspects of what you are doing but have nothing well-informed to say on other aspects. People who play the part of doctors on television, for example, are not educated, typically, to offer good medical advice,

    The internet is full of well-meant advice from people who want to help but actually have no expertise on the matter on which they give feedback. In a variety of settings also one finds people whose feedback is more connected to their private interests than to best-practice or expertise in the matter at hand. People may campaign aggressively for your taking a different point of view or changing something you are doing without having a truly constructive mindset.
  • Jun 25 2012: I would say that I like to receive constructive feedback when I want that. In other words for me when I do something I like to know what others think if I ask them specifically. Everybody knows that people like to correct others even when their opinion are not asked. In those type of cases I tend to ignore because I stay true to my own values.

    Another important thing I want to mention it is about who gives you feedback. Well depending on the type of tasks i am doing. Lets say that if I am working in a marketing department I would love to know what customers think about our campaigns. While if I am in a more technical field I would say that I like to hear the opinion of the more experienced people.

    I think we should try to filter the information as much as possible. So we do need to be flexible to the point to make correct adjustments to improve our performance, however not all opinions need to take into account because there are way to many people talking.
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      Jun 25 2012: Antonio, my reply to you landed above your post rather than below.
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    Jun 25 2012: I don't seek or need feedback on anything I do . I try to be true to my own internal gyroscope , to my own authenticity in everything I do and say.

    To seek or need approva or nay kind of feedback l is distorting.

    Of course, the caveat is there must always be a complete surrender to service to life, to humanity. Without thisias the internal gyrsocope, it all falls apart.

    As a youngster, I must say though, that having a "patron" someone more important and bigger than I backing me up never hurt. But I think I wouldn't have had that support if I had not been true to myself.
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      Jun 25 2012: Do you think people's personal attitudes toward feedback are related to whether they see discussions more as debates or more as collaborative development of new ideas?
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        Jun 25 2012: Fritzie,

        Yes, I do Fritzie.

        To need or seek feedback is egoic and distorting which of course precludes the very high order human experience of collaboration.

        We are taught in the western world to measure ourselves by the praise of others whether in words of economics ( promotions and pay raises) so it is hard to come by even the possibility of an entirely different approach to what we allow to drive our thoughts, our speech, our actions.

        I think we would all do better and achieve more if collaboration were cultivated from our earliest socialization and education.

        Like every one else, I wasted years and years expecting and reveling in being the most favorite in class or on the job, to being praised and valued for my achievements and abilities, to receiving feed back for that in praise and in $.

        Maybe that's just how it is" entre la jeunesse et la sagesse "

        It took a long long while, but I am glad, however late in life it came and however I came by it to know the joy of collaboration and the of freedom from the need for feedback.

        What do you think? Am I being to hard on the merits of seeking and needing feedback? helpful/healthy to need feedback?
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          Jun 25 2012: Well, I don't think seeking feedback is the same as seeking approval. If you were making a dress for your grandmother and asked her how it felt, adjusting it if she said it pulled across her back, I don't think your work loses its authenticity or that such feedback is reasonably construed as seeking praise or egoic.

          When a person puts forward a position, it may be strongly held, or it may be a work in progress. Sometimes a strongly held view is actually wrong, but as it is strongly held, the person may not seek feedback on his argument. One could almost say that not being interested in feedback is egoic. Discussions degenerate or can be quite unproductive if the parties do not want their reasoning picked apart by other thoughtful people. Again, being open to the possibility of being wrong and seeking out feedback from thoughtful others in reaction to ones own view and argument are not praise seeking behavior.

          Seeking a response to a work in progress is not necessarily praise-seeking either.

          I do think that those who are not interested in entertaining other people's views in order potentially change theirs, or those not interested in feedback on their design for the landscaping of a large garden, will have trouble collaborating.
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        Jun 25 2012: I think we are on the same page..collaboration is a process of exchanging ideas and views and a process that I seek out and enjoy whenever possible. We always learn more and open ourselves to growth and change and new possibility when we can engage the experience and thoughts of another.

        And of course I would not consider a teaching or mentoring relationship to be about "feedback". I consider that more "teaching"..I am seeking instruction and guidance to acquire a skill when I seek a teacher. Of course I want to know if I am"doing it right"..otherwise..why seek out a teacher.

        Perhaps in framing your question, you were using "feedback" in a much mbroader and generalized sense than I use or think about that word.

        I perhaps wrongly associate the word "feedback" , the process of seeking feedback as a more needy, self centered. egoic process..something different than what goes in collaboration.

        And of course undertaking something for someone else..making a dress 9 what a lovely thing to do for another), volunteering in their garden or kitchen we want to seek guidance out of courtesy or approval.

        So if your definition of "feedback" includes the exchange and sharing of collaboration, and the courtesy and respect of seeking guidance when you are serving or assisting another, I would agree these are no egoic in any way.

        So it is the quality and intent of "seeking feedback"

        My own sense of the word "feedback" implies one way..from the other to self and not necessarily and mutual or compassionate engagement of the other.
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    Jun 25 2012: Hi Fritzie,
    I appreciate all feedback, from anyone, any type, any time. I feel that all information provided with feedback is valuable, so I listen carefully, evaluate how it may be relevant to me, and use the feedback....or not. In general, I do not intentionally seek feedback, because I believe there is feedback on many different levels, in every single conversation and interaction I have with everyone all the time.

    In conversations/discussions, I like to be engaged in a way that is comfortable for the other participant(s), because I am comfortable with any type of communication. I enjoy probing thoughts and ideas if that seems comfortable to participants, I like participating by question/answers, with intent to learn, and I also realize that this type of communication is not comfortable for some folks.

    I try to be aware of the communication styles of others, and participate in a way that will offer him/her the opportunity to communicate as s/he is comfortable. This facilitates an interaction in which there is feedback openly and freely.
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      Jun 25 2012: Hi, Colleen. Is this also true in the workplace or in creative or service projects you understake- that you don't run them by anyone else ever for reaction or feedback?
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        Jun 25 2012: Fritzie,
        Yes, it is true for me in all aspects of life. My workplace, creative endeavors and service oriented experiences are often all interconnected.

        In one phase of the life experience, I was a professional actor, so I got lots of reactions, feedback and critique constantly, without seeking it.

        I owned an antique business and refinished/reconstructed furniture...again...plenty of feedback regarding my work without seeking it!

        I owned and managed elderly subsidized (by the state) housing...performance reports were generated regurlarly, and feedback/critique offered without seeking it. If I didn't do the job well, there would be no subsidy....I understood that.

        With all the volunteer work I did in social services agencies, I was given positive feedback without seeking it. I knew that if I was not performing as expected, I would not be invited back!

        Now that I am retired, gardening is a passion. The only feedback I need is to look at people's faces when they enter the gardens:>) As I said, I believe with each and every interaction, we get feedback...IF...we are open to the possibilities and really listening carefully and mindfully aware:>)

        One GREAT lesson my parents taught me, is when a job or task is finished, look back and evaluate it...ask yourself what you think about your work...how you have completed the task. I'm sure that this practice in myself has influenced my work experiences, creative endeavors and service projects:>)
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          Jun 25 2012: That does sound very consistent:) In other lines of work, people sometimes need to solicit feedback if they want to provide good service, because those who are underserved don't always feel confident to speak up. Also those in positions of power or authority can have a very hard time getting true feedback, which is why so much study has gone into how to make even something like brainstorming work when there are power differences in the setting.
          As others have said, feedback in no way replaces most people's own evaluation of their work. Most people consider it alongside their own evaluations.
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        Jun 25 2012: Yes, I agree Fritzie...some people need to solicit feedback. I suggest that the need to solicit feedback may have something to do with the level of confidence we have in ourselves. As I said previously, I "feel" feedback all the time, with every interaction. If we are not confident in ourselves, it may be beneficial to actually hear it verbally. When we can intuit, or feel feedback, it allows us to understand another level of feedback, which bypasses any power differences. I call this "true feedback". In order to do this, we need to let go of any perceptions we may have regarding power differences.
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          Jun 25 2012: It's funny, but most of the people I know who don't solicit feedback or show their work to anyone keep it from others eyes because of lack of confidence rather than great confidence.
          I have also known people, though, who are so confident that they are right (even when they are not) that they just plow forward with their plan without seeking any input!
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        Jun 25 2012: It IS funny Fritzie...and true! There are all kinds of people in our world, functioning from many different places within themselves:>)

        I agree...there are those who may not solicit feedback or show their work because they lack confidence.
        There are those who are so confident that they are right and they just plow forward regardless of what is going on around them.
        There are people who are balanced regarding confidence/lack of confidence, and intuit how to use skills in different ways:>)

        For example, when I mediated with convicted felons and facilitated cognitive self change sessions with incarcerated offenders, it would not have been helpful to appear too overly confident. It was important to make a connection with them before we could move on to the task at hand, so I stifled the appearence of confidence a bit to accomplish my goal.

        When advocating for children in state custody, I allowed more confidence to peek through and manifest itseld in my interactions because those kids needed a confident advocate.

        I think I have a bit of a balance...you see? As I said, when we intuit/feel underlying messages, needs, goals, etc., and put aside power differences, we can be more effective in our own lives, and in the lives of those we interact with:>)
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          Jun 25 2012: I agree that whether people seek feedback or not and from whom they seek it is related to aspects of personality and values, probably more than, say, competency at what they do, in the sense that some highly authentic and competent people seek feedback and some do not.
          For example, some artists or writers are interested only in self expression and do not consider matters of audience, others want to communicate only with an elite audience and don't care about the rest, and others care whether therir message has come through to a broad audience.
          I believe when you expose your work to people and listen for feedback, that is the same in most cases as seeking feedback.
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        Jun 25 2012: I agree Fritzie,
        Whether or not we seek feedback and/or how we deal with it, is often influenced by personality, values, perceptions, wants and needs. I believe that when we expose ourselves to life, there will probably be feedback in one way or another:>) We can actively seek it...or not.
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    Jun 25 2012: Debra: He sounds, then, like his feedback would be expected to be mostly unproductive - or productive only in narrow technical areas and otherwise not.
    Often the person whose job description specifies that he should give feedback or coaching actually has neither the technical skills nor personal traits to provide such services. I have experienced this in the workplace. A "coach" was brought in to work with a high functioning department of eight people on fine-tuning their practice. I don't know how this person was screened or selected for the job. Within two years the ENTIRE department, which had historically been very low turnover, left for other jobs. Only at this point did the coach leave- I don't know whether self-initiated or fired.
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    Jun 25 2012: Excellent question, Fritzie! I am not exactly sure. He is certainly very bright (with an MA in chemistry) and he has a good work ethic. I think he might be a terrible parent though, because he never learned the art of encouragement at all and he seems to think that jumping on people when they are down is good business technique. He is not a "people person" and my customers hate him. He seems to feel this inadequecy and generally pushes himself into it rather than learning any finesse. Did I answer the actual question?
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    Jun 25 2012: I have always been really comfortable not needing credit for my ideas. I am happy to let other people run with them and make something out of them.
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    Jun 25 2012: I seek fair and constructive feedback and I think that should come from my boss.I especially need positive feedback when i feel that i have tried everything and nothing feels like it has the results I want. I think that is the time my boss should rmember that my results are his results and that is when he should decide that the buck stops with him and that my customers need him on the team too.
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      Jun 25 2012: Does your boss understand your work and its context well?
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      Jun 25 2012: Often the feedback maybe either positive or negative and it also may be you be the actual doer(the one who conceives the concept or idea) or may be the team, here the perspective is to adapt or how well you can channelise or transform your ideas to actuals and the feedback shall be in many forms say it in terms of value, value realisation, output or even may be New experience all this put together how you have transformed the idea to actual, and requesting all the TED community to throw more light on this to explore further.

      Thanks
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    Jun 24 2012: At all the circumstances any any ideas can be worthwhile even its absurd to negate
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      Jun 24 2012: Could you expand a little on your response?
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    R H

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    Jun 23 2012: With this thought provoking question, I find that I only 'seek' feedback in formal situations like from clients, or in instructional situations as a student. In informal situations, like here at TED and most other situations, it's the 'exchange' that I'm interested in. It's the sharing of ideas and the connection that I'm seeking. It's the banter and the individual self-revelation of the accumulation of experiences and knowledge, and the exchange of personal talents and skills between the participants that I'm seeking. Not so much as 'feedback' to what I'm proposing, but as to the mutual exchange of propositions for the enjoyment and benefit of all concerned. Maybe I'm 'splitting hairs' here, because feedback is often a component of such exchanges. But feedback is not what I'm concerned with in informal situations. As I consider it as I write, I see informal feedback as the clarification stage of an exchange. Where we try to understand completely the points being made, and hear what was understood by everyone else of the comments we made. Then, the ideas begin to flow and build on each other. It's almost like a sport! But no one is victorious over the other.
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      Jun 23 2012: Your last sentence is, I think, such an important context for communities that function through discourse. Ideally a discourse community is an environment in which people's understanding moves forward rather than an advocacy environment that is about winning and losing.

      In terms of the specific question of feedback, do you do any kind of work that requires a road test of any kind or that can benefit in its development from road tests at various stages?
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        R H

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        Jun 24 2012: I'm sorry. I'm not familiar with the terrm 'road test'. I can only think of cars. Please explain. Thnx.
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        R H

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        Jun 24 2012: Ah. Thnx. No. I do get feedback from clients (they request our service again - or not), but nothing internally regarding any type of 'road test'.
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          Jun 24 2012: That's interesting. So there is no feedback until the service is delivered, and then the feedback isn't of a type that gives any specific input into what might be improved or adjusted?

          I have often worked in situations in which a second set of eyes must look at something before it is delivered. Those eyes may be a second colleague's at my same level or a manager. Other times I have worked in a situation in which no one looks at what I am doing unless I ask for input.

          With students in school we distinguish between formative and summative evaluation. Formative is the sort that looks at work at various checkpoints to identify what the student understands well and where specifically understanding could be improved. Summative evaluation can be the same, though in too many cases students are evaluated with a grade at the end without any sort of formative feedback along the way.
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          Jun 25 2012: Dear RH, I think any MBA program would recommend getting feedback and input from clients if they are willing. It is invaluable.
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        R H

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        Jun 25 2012: Thanks Fritzie and Debra for continuing this conversation. As I said previously, within 'formal' situations, like working with clients and as a student, feedback is expected. It's in the 'informal', like here at TED, that feedback is not so much the 'meat' of the exchange as it is the sharing of ideas, the synergies of those ideas, and the connection between the participants that I seek - or find most value. Feedback, as we explore this topic, seems very 'informational' to me. 'You said/produced/inferred this, it meant that to me' sort of thing. An informal 'exchange', or 'conversation', on the other hand, seems to contain 'information', but it serves merely as subject matter. The real exchange is the mutual exploration of possibilities regarding the subject. The free interpretations of the subject matter and tangents that build off of it. We express and explore the subject from our own viewpoints, rather than evaluate and provide clarity through 'feedback'. I hope I'm making sense. This sure is fun!
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          Jun 25 2012: I find many times that I gain clarity from asking questions, as we all use words slightly differently. Even in conversation, I welcome someone's questioning an argument I am making. One might consider that to be feedback to me that my argument either wasn't clear or might not hold up as well as I thought.