Feedback: Key to Continuous Learning
To know one’s strengths, to know how to improve them, and to know what one cannot do are the keys to continuous learning.
Whenever a Jesuit priest or a Calvinist pastor does anything of significance (for instance, making a key decision), he is expected to write down what results he anticipates. Nine months later, he then feeds back from the actual results to these anticipations. This very soon shows him what he did well and what his strengths are. It also shows him what he has to learn and what habits he has to change. Finally it shows him what he is not gifted for and cannot do well. I have followed this method myself, now for fifty years. It brings out what one’s strengths are—and this is the most important thing an individual can know about himself or herself. It brings out where improvement is needed and what kind of improvement is needed. Finally, it brings out what an individual cannot do and therefore should not even try to do. To know one’s strengths, to know how to improve them, and to know what one cannot do—they are the keys to continuous learning.
ACTION POINT: List your strengths and the steps you are taking to improve them. Who knows you well enough to help identify your strengths?
Drucker on Asia in «The Daily Drucker» (Drucker, 2004)
I did add «The Daily Drucker» entries to my calendar — and hey, this one (see quotation above) is really something. It reminds me a bit of “Don’t waste your energy searching for problems, perhaps there are none there”, but also, yeah, it does make sense to jot down what you expect, because you might be way off.
And in cases like these, it does matter.
If only to learn what to expect, and what to actually prepare for.