I don’t give a lot of critical feedback. There are a number of reasons for this, but none are very good. Giving critical feedback can be awkward for me and for the person I’m giving it to. I don’t want to damage friendships. I don’t want to seem too nitpicky. I’m busy. You didn’t ask for feedback. Maybe we’re not that close. Maybe I assume you have good reasons for doing what you’re doing. Maybe I don’t think you’ll take it well. You probably have similar reasons for not giving me critical feedback.
The thing is that I would love to receive more critical feedback. Most of what I do, the things I write and the things I build, I receive zero feedback for. If I do receive feedback, it’s usually positive. Rarely critical. But this lack of feedback makes it hard for me to improve. It slows my long term growth and limits the quality of my work.
I’d like to try an experiment to remedy this by extending all of you an offer: if you’re interested in receiving more critical feedback, lets team up to provide it to each other.
What would this look like in practice? To be honest I’m not entirely sure. I want you to ask me why a lot. Why am I trying to write daily? Why do I work on what I’m working on? Why did I make such and such decision? Question my assumptions and motivations. Did I consider alternative ways to go about it? If something doesn’t make sense or if you notice something that can be improved, tell me. Don’t worry about sandwiching it between two positive things. Give it to me straight. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings. Don’t worry about it being too small. Am I using oxford commas in my writing and you don’t like oxford commas? Tell me. Don’t worry about giving too much feedback either. Any and all feedback is welcomed at any time. And in return, I’ll do the same for you.
If several of you want to participate, maybe we can form a small group.
This could be a terrible idea. Maybe we’ll wind up hating each other after a few weeks, but I don’t think so. I think it will bring us closer and help us make a lot more progress in our lives and our work than we would have otherwise.
If you’re interested in teaming up, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll go from there.
Also, even if you’re not interested in teaming up, I still welcome critical feedback of this nature. It is very much appreciated.