The Feedback loop: How not to get good but awesome

by David · 8 comments

I feel confident saying that no matter who you are, you want to be great at something – awesome in fact. There are a variety of reasons for wanting to be awesome, from self-satisfaction to a self-serving ego. Whatever your reasons, I want to share a concept called the feedback loop and how this applies to the development of skill.

Feedback, as the name suggests, provides us with information. This information is incredibly valuable to a person like myself constantly seeking opportunities for growth and development. However, like all information, having it is not enough – it needs to be applied.

I feel as though feedback is an overlooked aspect of skill development, and I suspect this is because it’s often confused with failure. When the feeling of failure sets itself upon us a slew emotions tend to follow such as disappointment, embarrassment and self-doubt. None of those emotions bring anything positive to the table, so it’s in everyone’s interest to shift the perception of failure to feedback.

How do we apply feedback effectively?

Feedback loopThe concept is extremely simple. I just want to introduce the idea to you today. Now’s the time to let me know what examples you’d like to see used when I expand on the topic. Let me know in the comments.

What this diagram doesn’t explain is how we measure effectiveness of a methodology. I’ll be discussing this soon, make sure you don’t miss out.

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  • Usually it is far better to change methodology straight: if something does not work it is pointless to use… Assuming we know what we are doing, of course! Measuring is a completely different beast. For every task measuring is different, I’m waiting to see what you have to say about it!



    • I’m surprised you say that Ruben. I’ve observed that people often discard a methodology before really giving it a try. By tweaking a methodology a few times before discarding, you’re sure not to miss what *really* works for you.  

      This is what I did when I first started learning languages –  I discarded grammar without really giving it a try. If I had used the feedback loop as suggested above. I would have discovered my knack for grammar a lot sooner.

  • Prize

    I definitely agree with increasing intensity. If the methodology is working, and you’re enjoying yourself, I think that increasing intensity happens automatically. If you’re enjoying it the more you want to do it right?

    Anyways, great post David. I can’t wait for the next one. 🙂

    • I naturally increase the intensity, but I don’t think this is the case for everyone. There are people that just pick a methodology and stick to it.

      As simple as feedback is –  not everyone uses it.

      Thanks for dropping by Prize. 

  • Zach

    Well, that’s an interesting thought. I agree fully. Measuring is the nature of the beast. Some things take longer to measure effectiveness. Or more intensity is required to achieve measurable results.

    I will have to do some more thinking on this but you definitely have something here.

    Sometimes going too slow has little effect at all. When I attempted RTK1 the first time I made 170 paper flash cards. It took 2 months. Then 4 months later after discovering Ajatt I flew through RTK1 in 45 Days. That’s when my Japanese really took off!

    • Hey, thanks for stopping by and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      How did AJJAT Help you with RTK1? 

  • Dan Baker

    Thanks for writing this article! I also think that it’s very important to actually implement the feedback you receive, you might want to check out – it’s great for just that, it’s a new social network made for getting honest feedback, etc.

    Thanks again david!

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