Sunday, 7 May 2017

Feedback and Motivation (Reflection on May 7 Group Discussion)

What is feedback, and how much feedback are we allowed to give in our profession. How does hierarchy play a part in this? How has motivation changed over the last decade? What are students expecting? Expectation and Communication?

Successful people interact, engage, and influence others.

It seems that we crave feedback as a culture. For example, we have heart rate monitors and calorie counters on our I watches and other portable monitors. We get immediate notifications from our phones that include updates from the stock exchange, financial deposits and withdrawals, and news reports. Social media likes from facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram informs us of ‘likes’ about posts. Sometimes feedback can be awkward and uncomfortable, and I wonder if this is why I do not respond to tutor feedback on assignments.

I must admit my own need to be encouraged and/or told that I am doing the right thing. I must admit that I am not comfortable with the MAPP DTP Sunday discussions. I believe that these feelings are based on a need to be right, and to be told what the ‘correct’ answer is.

I grew up in two extreme environments.

In one of those environments, there was a complete lack or order or authority figures. Chaos forced autonomy and or independent choices were impulsive spur of the moment decisions made in the heat of the moment which ensured survival.

The other environment, was authoritatively tyrannical, with authority figures that begged for correctness, repressed emotion, and moral righteousness.

I thought that I appreciated the feedback, but I believe that I have often confused feedback with being accepted, or being told that what I am doing is ‘right’ or good. I thrive on measurable progress and correctness. I thrived in a school system based on a system a grading scale that rewarded memorization and right answers. Obviously, mathematics was a strong point.

What role does hierarchy play in feedback? In a situation where there is a hierarchy, a manager, teacher, leader, or boss will give feedback to those down the hierarchy based on the objectives or outcomes of the vision or perceived end goal. It never occurred to me that feedback goes both ways up and down ( or across if you will) from teacher to student.

Even now at such a late stage in my professional career and training (as I believe we never stop training), I sometimes seem aloof as I simply accept what the direction the director, choreographer, or conductor gives me while rehearsing or learning an artistic piece. It seems so absurd to me now, but I believe this is a major blind spot in my artistic growth. My inability to draw my own conclusions, based on the knowledge that I have about situations.

I am sure I have been able to do it in real life to solve problems. Aren’t we always evaluating the world around us to draw conclusions?
So what is my motivation? I am still exploring my motivation. The underlying motivation for many things that I do is to be right. Why? I am sure it stems from some inability to accept the indefiniteness of some things. Perhaps, it stems from a feeling of not being good enough. I know my motivation in performing certainly stems from the wonderful feeling of being applauded. However, the feeling of freely expressing myself is also a motivation for my choosing the performing arts profession. What is my motivation in teaching? I like to inspire others. I love the experience of exploring with others.