Elicit high-quality feedback to identify your weaknesses and improve your performance. 8

from book

No matter what level of expertise you’re at, you need to seek out feedback on your progress if you want to improve. Moreover, you need to learn how to distinguish between different levels of feedback and acquire strategies for eliciting feedback. Almost all feedback is useful, but not all feedback is created equal. It’s helpful to divide feedback into three different categories. The first and most basic form of feedback is outcome feedback. This feedback can confirm whether or not you’ve reached a desired outcome. Imagine you’re giving a public talk and the audience applauds at the end. That’s outcome feedback. It can be encouraging, but it’s hard to glean any more information from this type of feedback. Informational feedback gives you more to work with, by alerting you to the fact that you’re doing something wrong. If you give a public talk and audience members walk out at a particular point, they’re giving you informational feedback. This kind of feedback is useful for highlighting problem areas and isolating your mistakes. By far the best kind of feedback is corrective feedback: feedback that tells you what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it. Imagine giving a public talk where there’s a professional speechwriter in the audience, who gives you notes on what went well, what didn’t land and how you can improve. The speechwriter is giving you corrective feedback, and this is far more instructive than outcome feedback.  When sorting through your feedback, focus on corrective feedback over informational feedback, and informational feedback over outcome feedback. How do you ensure you’re receiving enough feedback in the first place? Start by remembering to fail for feedback: if you’re not extending yourself to the point where you fail, you stop yourself from getting useful informational or corrective feedback. Pushing beyond your limits will elicit helpful feedback; acting on that feedback will, in turn, extend your limits. Don’t neglect to seek meta-feedback, either. It’s important to seek feedback on how well your learning methods are working. A simple way to test your learning methods is to track your learning rate – try timing how long it takes you to correctly complete a math problem, for example. If your learning rate isn’t tracking upward, act on this negative feedback by revisiting your learning methods. By eliciting feedback and prioritizing corrective and informational feedback, you can constantly adjust and improve your performance.