I was recently asked about my vision for feedback in the Judge Program and my vision for this blog, and it was surprising how little I had thought about such a fundamental thing. Let’s start with the big question: Why does feedback matter?
This one is simple for me, but I don’t know if I’ve ever articulated it in a meaningful way.
Feedback sustains the improvement and growth of individuals.
The growth of individuals sustains the growth of the Judge Program.
Thus, feedback sustains the growth of the Judge Program.
Now there are two types of growth, so I want to be clear.
Lateral growth means more judges.
Vertical growth means judges getting better.
Feedback facilitates vertical growth. Telling each other about our performance, both good and bad, allows us to continue with the good and to improve upon the bad. While not an exact correlation, vertical growth is most identifiably measured through leveling up. As a result, I’ve done some research into how feedback leads to leveling up, mostly in the context of the difficult-to-achieve Level 3 advancement.
Feedback has little to do directly with lateral growth, although there is an ancillary connection: making judges better and leveling them up tends to create more judges in their vicinity, especially if that geographic area has never had a judge of that level before. In this way, quality (judge experience) and quantity (number of judges) work together. Increasing the numbers of L1s results in more L2s who can make more L1s, and the judge program proliferates, creating The Feedback Loop.
Quantity feeds into quality. Then that quality increases quantity.
We need both quality and quantity of reviews.
Just like the Judge Program needs a sustained influx of “new blood” in the form of brand new certifications, feedback needs widespread participation and buy-in to be successful. The “quantity vs. quality” mindset prevents judges, unsure of the quality of their feedback, from ever writing reviews at all. With few exceptions, judges don’t start out as superstar reviewers. In fact, the My First Review Project features the first attempts of some of the judge program’s best reviewers. These seemingly unimpressive origins hardly hint at the heights that some of these judges reached in feedback.
We need more judges to write more reviews. You can help. Your investment makes tomorrow a better day for you as a judge and for the Judge Program as a whole. That’s why, after an extended break, the blog is back with a renewed vision and fresh weekly content. Here you will find motivation to write more reviews and strategies for writing them. We’ll report on community development, address hurdles, and celebrate reviews and reviewers. I love feedback because I watch it work. But how can we prevent feedback from feeling like work?
Simplify. Return to the basics. Join me next week on The Feedback Loop.