Experience: the outcome of trial

An image I saw on Twitter last week turns out to be the work of Hugh MacLeod, @gapingvoid:

information-knowledge-400x314

Many people have come up with their own take on this, often adding a third panel. I might put one on the right, fewer dots and more motion or flow: knowledge being applied, which is how you build skill.

There’s a gap between knowledge and skill, though:

Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.

I’ve always liked this saying. I try to remember when it matters that the bad judgment doesn’t have to be yours in order for you to harvest the experience.

And that leads to one of the best experiences I’ve had recently. In a private setting, one colleague I respect shared a portion of a project that’s underway, and asked for candid feedback.

I saw the posted request during the workday, when my link to the wider world is my phone — not the best tool for musing, editing, and commenting. And, to my embarrassment, I forgot about the request until the weekend.

That’s when another colleague I respect did offer critiques — thoughtful, specific ones — and encouraged others to do the same. She pointed out that the original sharer was “practicing what he preaches” by inviting comment.

Well.

I’m not always comfortable offering public critique, even in the context of a small group. I know the theory; I just need to practice overcoming this reluctance.

I had been thinking about sending private comments, but decided to trust the sharer and the process by posting in the group’s forum. It wasn’t easy for me to get started, but it felt good when I got into it.

Experience, I see, has its roots in Latin: the verb experirimeaning to try, to risk, to test. I’m glad I got a little more.

 

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