Have you ever found, that occasionally when you’re helping through giving feedback to others, you end up learning more yourself?
Today I wanted to talk about a subject called “learning through feedback”. By this, I mean the process of changing your learning method and perception and advancing yourself by helping others. We all learn from ourselves as well as from others.
Often s when we are helping someone to learn something, we’ll go away and think about how we can give them useful feedback, and after coming back, we then find that we know much more about our subject then we did before.
During the process of teaching others, you will, more than likely, be giving them feedback. And to give anyone good and constructive feedback, you will have spent plenty of time looking deeper into the subject involved to provide useful and positive criticism.
In any feedback process, you have to examine what your mentee is undertaking, and what they are aiming to achieve so that you can offer the right type of support. It’s also important to identify what they are doing wrong. Only after deconstructing and analysing the process or procedures involved, can you hope to give them the well-considered and constructive feedback they deserve from you.
Feedback Encourages Your Growth Too
This method of teaching is very similar to the medical model of learning, where the “see one, do one, teach one” process is used. You see how something is done, you do that something yourself, and then you teach somebody else how to do it.
By going through this style of learning, you get an initial understanding of how the procedure is supposed to work. You then do it yourself, which means that you must take control and then replicate those actions consistently to get the best results. Then, only when you have true competency in that process, are you are now able to teach someone else, so they can also do it.
Bite-sized Works Best
To understand any process entirely, you must first break it down into its constituent components. Next, look at how you learned that process initially, this will help you to better understand your mentee’s perspective. From this point, you can then work out the best way to tell the next person how to perform that same process, so, they know exactly how to replicate that self-same process for themselves.
I find this learning through feedback process occurring nearly every day when I’m working with other people, and when I’m helping to coach and mentor them inside their own working environment. Incidentally, I also see this learning process happening in one of my hobbies; canoe coaching!
By having a keen eye for the sport, I am able to break down the crucial processes involved in canoeing into smaller, basic operations. I can then instruct, help, guide and teach others to undertake and enjoy their hobby even more. I also have the bonus of helping my fellow canoeists to move their sport to the next level too.
So, by breaking down any processes into smaller, more manageable chunks, and subsequently learning and fully understanding those smaller processes, the feedback you give will help you to also keep improving. Everyone wins and the knowledge continues to be passed on.
A wise man once said that the “mistakes should be examined, learned from, but never dwelled upon”. Wise words indeed.