Four simple words put together in the form of a question. Question basically used when someone’s opinion is required to be expressed in order to keep thinking. Careful with the words: I’m writing here “in order to keep thinking”, not “in order to do something” because, come on, we all know sometimes that may or may not happen.
Since we’re born, our lives are built based on a very special kind of material, something I like to called “decision-making bricks”. Yes, yes… Perhaps more than a few of you have read about the importance of making decisions in life, and how these affect our future. But here, I’d like to take this concept and look at it from a different angle. Please don’t take this in the wrong way; I would not like to start talking like a parent, first, because I’m not one, and second, because I’ll not dare to do that to you, my dear friends & readers. I just want to share with you some reflections, and wait to read yours.
If you are a prospective KI student, tattoo this word in your mind: Feedback. You’ll be hearing it a lot and in more than one way. I still remember how much emphasis was put on “feedback” during our Introduction Week (late August 2012), and not just for the concept itself, but for the importance within KI’s academic environment.
Professors will constantly be asking for your opinion, and not just for improving their lectures or lecturers (in case they have guests lecturers coming over to the course), but more and beyond. Remember that here in KI you are or will be sorrounded by high-ranked professionals, but keep in mind that they don’t become experts just by miracle. No. They all went through very similar pathways like most of us. Some of them more similar than others of course, but at the end they all listened, and asked for feedback, for opinions in their professional, and may I dare to say in their personal lives, as well. Why? because it’s part of a human condition. Regardless their professions, people who really care about their duties, need to feel confident with what they are doing, and how they are doing it. So they ask because it’s a way to ease doubts and/or uncertainty.
In reality the importance of an opinion depends on the weight given to it. That’s why at the beginning of my post I said to be careful with the words “in order to keep thinking”. The reason for this is very simple yet not frequently practiced. Sometimes we can see that after an opinion is given, no change or difference is observed. Here’s when you can see how some people stare annoyed at the outcome with a “then-why-did-you-ask-for-my-opinion-in-the-first-place” face. I believe the reason for this annoyance is that most of the times (not always, but mostly) we enjoy expressing our opinion(s), but positive attitude does not always come hand in hand with tolerance and empathy, and these last two are very important skills that even have inherited them from our relatives that doesn’t mean we’ll always succeed practising them in our lives. Positive attitude is part of the life’s hard-core, but it’s also built based on our “decision-making bricks”.
The message, or may I say messages. Never stop asking for opinions, but pay attention to them, in other words “says who?” Nobody is perfect, you know this, but sometimes you forget it. It’s okay to be wrong, but it’s not okay to be afraid to be wrong. Seek for your own improvement, and try to assume less and proof more. Never forget every mind is a world. And remember that we’re not just genes, and before professionals we are human beings.
“Feedback is the life-blood of learning, and it must be kept flowing.”
– Derek Rowntree