Hello SOTGC community,
It is often difficult to ask for honest, candid feedback. When you have finished a special project, closed a new account, or written a report, you may want to only show your hard work to those you know will give you a pat on the back. Don’t! You’re only hurting yourself and your career when surrounding yourself with cheerleaders. The only way to grow and learn is to truly push yourself and find those who will push you as well.
There are several steps you should follow when asking for feedback so that you can get the best advice possible. There have been times in my own career when I have made “feedback mistakes,” and it cost me either an important decision or an account. Take a moment to learn from others and give yourself a chance to expand your feedback knowledge:
- You are the architect of the feedback you will receive. Give specific guidelines for the feedback you are looking for. If you ask your manager, colleague, or mentor simply, “What do you think?” be prepared for the shots to be fired directly at you! Ask them about specific details and how you can improve portions you are not sure work. Even with careful planning, you may still take a shot or two. Prepare yourself for this and know that even with painful advice there is usually a pearl of wisdom.
- Ask the appropriate person. If you are working on a project that will be presented to your boss or manager, you certainly wouldn’t ask for their feedback until it is complete. So, have a group of people surrounding you whom you trust and respect. Try to find someone who knows more than you do about the project you are working on.
- Don’t dispute! When you ask someone for feedback, don’t immediately start a counter offensive when they offer advice. Give them time to speak. Take notes. Resist the temptation to argue and debate.
- It is YOUR choice to take the feedback or leave it. Not all feedback is right for you. Though you should listen with open ears, the advice you are given may not be good advice. Learn to trust yourself, and know what is right for you and your career.
- Same feedback, different day? If you are getting the same feedback over and over from different people, you may want to take a look at what they are all referring to. If you are hearing the same thing from multiple people, then it is almost certainly true.
Do you have ideas for how to give and receive feedback? Continue the conversation with me on Twitter @ryangreenonline and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007156953049.