Recently I participated in a project in which I was asked to offer my constructive feedback on some colleagues’ video productions. At first it was uncomfortable; I felt I was towing the line between being too harsh and being too lenient with my criticism.
Strangely enough, when I was able to force myself out of that mentality of worrying how the criticism would be accepted, I also began learning from it. It was almost as if I were able to see my own project through another lens.
When people provide feedback for others, all the elements they may overlook in their own work (because they are simply attached to it) become acutely more obvious. So do all the portions that could be improved.
It got me thinking, what if a new-wave methodology appeared in Corporate America—where there is no hierarchy to provision of feedback? A junior staffer could critique the work of a senior manager—with only the product, not the person, in mind? If we could get far enough beyond our egos to accept the criticism, we might find that everyone has something valuable to offer—and improve our own work in the process.