There are two forms of judgment out there. The first being official judging of a sport or competition. The other comes from those who sit in judgment of others in a critical manner.
As a child in the figure skating world I struggled to compete. I do not have a competitive bone in my body. I just wanted to have fun. That didn’t go over too well in a world where everything you learn is judged. Hence, I quit skating earlier than I would have liked. At that time there wasn’t much choice, you competed or you didn’t skate.
Fourteen years ago I discovered an adult synchronized skating team that skated just for the joy of it. I have never looked back. I love it. We compete for the fun of it. Funny thing is I have learned to love the competitions and being judged.
Interesting how we evolve. Over the years I have begun to value good, constructive feedback. It is how we learn to be the best we can be. It is where we develop true wisdom.
There are many areas in life where feedback helps us do better. Both of our sons are young adults out there learning their trades and receiving feedback as they go along. The best teachers and mentors give good, honest constructive assessments to help them move forward. I love receiving feedback at work; it helps me serve our members better. I want feedback on my cooking so that I know how to adjust meals to please my family. They have learned that if they tell me they love something I will keep making it for them. I don't know if they don't like it if they don't tell me.
Now, there can be a fine line between feedback and criticism. There are times where I take well intentioned feedback as criticism (my husband could write a whole blog on this alone). When it is true judgemental criticism I take it very personally and have a tough time knowing how to respond to it gracefully.
We move through the world affecting others with our own behaviors. We base our assessment of ourselves on our own intentions. But we don’t always know the true impact we have on those around us. That is what good feedback gives us, a mirror to see how we impact the world around us.
This weekend our skating team competed in a competition. In our first skate the judges gave us a big deduction. We didn’t know why so we sought out the feedback. Once we knew what we needed to change, we changed it (in the dressing room. Way to go girls!). In our second skate we had no deductions and a high score and won a gold medal.
Feedback gives us the information we need to do better. Who doesn’t want that?