Through reffing basketball, I learned a lot of lessons that apply to my learning to this day. The ability to be challenged in learning on something you believe is not as bad as being yelled at that you are wrong about something while you are running and sweating 🙂
One lesson that I learned that was extremely valuable was not only about the importance of accepting feedback but the ability to implement that feedback quickly.
Whenever I was being observed in a game, the evaluator would meet with the referees at half and give you feedback on your performance. Even if they wanted to sugarcoat it, they couldn’t; there was no time over a ten to fifteen-minute break. The evaluators were straightforward and to the point on what you needed to work on. The referees that did the best didn’t sit and process the feedback forever; you could see that it was implemented in the second half. This doesn’t mean that they would do it for the rest of their lives because sometimes the evaluator was wrong. That being said, they were open to being pushed and wanted to get better, quicker.
Listening to feedback is different than accepting, acknowledging, and implementing feedback.
Have you ever met the person that says they need time to process, yet it is more of a stall tactic to delay pushing themselves? Some people say they want to be pushed yet their “processing” time can seemingly last an eternity. There is nothing wrong with being thoughtful; we should all think deeply about why we do what we do. But sometimes we can think too much and overanalyze, paralyzing us from moving forward, or event attempting to do so. The only way you will know if feedback is beneficial is by putting it into action, not by leaving yourself on “processing mode” forever.
As shared in this article, “Overthinking Will Destroy Your Happiness: 3 Tips to Keep Your Sanity“, “overthinking” can sometimes become the enemy of action:
There are a lot of positive things about being analytical. Being analytical allows you to make better decisions, develop a deeper understanding of the world around you and become a more successful person.
There is a fine line, however, between being analytical and overthinking everything.
Overthinking is detrimental to a person’s happiness and almost never makes a situation turn out any better than it would have otherwise. It also leads to indecisiveness, which can prevent a person from taking action when action is needed the most.
According to Amy Morin, “Whether they’re beating themselves up over a mistake they made yesterday, or they’re fretting about how they’re going to succeed tomorrow, over-thinkers are plagued by distressing thoughts. Their inability to get out of their own heads leaves them in a state of constant anguish.”
It is okay to be thoughtful of your practice and take the time to process, but when we wait to get better in education, we do not only hold ourselves back, we hold those back that we serve. We can think about ideas and feedback all we want, but until we make it happen, we will never know if it will lead to something better in our practice.