Over the past few months I’ve done a lot of planning related to my research. Part of that process involved talking to other people to get feedback. I talked to statisticians, horticulturists, plant pathologists, growers, and peers.
In doing this I was reminded of the value of outside opinions. Some people looked at my proposed plans and raised questions I had never considered. Some offered approaches and techniques I had never considered. The few months I spent talking about my research likely saved me years of futility once I started setting up experiments.
When I think about the benefits I received through feedback from others it makes me determined to provide thoughtful feedback to others when I have the opportunity. When asked for input nodding and agreeing is not very helpful unless it is authentic. Even then, active agreement that identifies what I agree with and why I agree with it is better than simple assent.
One thing I have noted is that mindless assent that is given more in the name of social grace than in critical thought can be harmful.
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net