Chosen critics

A few months ago, Seth Godin posted this about how we let people judge our work whether or not they are qualified to do so. He suggests that we learn early on to let just anyone do our judging for us – anyone who happens to show up willing to tell us what they think of what we’re doing, what they think of us.  The other option, though, is to decide whose opinions and feedback we want to empower.  He writes “The ability to choose who judges your work–the people who will make it better, use it and reward you–is the key building block in becoming an artist in whatever you do.”

Indeed. Judgment is only as useful as it is pertinent to the intention of the person creating the work being judged.  We forget to teach kids this.  We just tell them what we think and expect them to take it as truth, or (perhaps more astonishingly) we tell them to listen to what other designated adults think, and take that as truth.  We don’t teach them that they can choose whom to listen to, and that if they get good at choosing, they’ll find the kind of feedback that can really move them forward.