Tip 5: Seek Some Feedback

In Tip 4: Start Small, I suggested you start small. That’s so you can seek some feedback.

I said I started small so I could make progress. How do I know I’m making progress?

I might see an increase in how many words I write (yes, I track them), how many presentations I do, or slides I create. Sometimes, I track the number of pictures I create. words written, slides created, coaching clients. That’s more of something.

More isn’t enough. How do I know more is any good? That’s why I use feedback, too.

Sometimes, a quantitative measurement is a form of feedback.  I measure my steps every day so I can tell if I’m walking more or less.

I might ask people to explicitly review my words. That’s a form of feedback. In my most recent book (still in review), Create Your Successful Agile Project: Collaborate, Measure, Estimate, Deliver, one of my reviewers said, “I’d like to see this organization of the traps in all the chapters.”  That was terrific feedback. I reorganized and wrote a little more and the book is much better for it.

If I get stuck on something, that’s a form of feedback, too. I might have taken a turn that doesn’t get me to where I want to go. What are my choices:

  • Return to the last known “good” place.
  • Push through somehow.
  • Rethink: Create other choices entirely and go there.

I have plenty of ideas for new workshops. But, the workshops are time-consuming for me to run. I was stuck. I’m now moving my workshops to a platform. That will allow me more room in my day and provide the students an easier time of accessing the content over time. It’s taking me longer now but should work better for everyone in the long run. No one asked me for this, but I realized I was stuck on creating new workshops. Aha!

Sometimes, I realize I want to change my plan. I do that based on feedback. Sometimes, it’s something I realize I want to change. Sometimes, it’s something people request. I used to travel a lot for my job. As my vertigo increases, I have reduced my travel—by design. My vertigo gave me feedback.

One last piece of feedback is how I feel about something, qualitative measurement. Am I still excited about my plan and my progress? If yes, I’m probably doing well. If I’m not excited, I better think about a change.

Let me summarize all the ways I know about seeking feedback:

  • Qualitative measurement.
  • Asking for review.
  • Noticing I’m stuck.
  • Noticing I want to change something.
  • Qualitative measurement.

All of these options are possibilities for feedback. Do you use other approaches for feedback? Do let me know.

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