One of the most effective ways to improve your career performance is by receiving constructive feedback. While many forms of feedback may be subjective and biased, feedback, whether you like it or asked for it, is one of the most common methods on how to grow personally and advance in your career.
Feedback can be a great way to improve your skills, hone in on your expertise, strengthen your strengths, tap into your natural talents, and elevate your professional presence.
Receiving feedback should be an expectation in your career, in fact, I want to encourage you to consistently seek feedback from people you trust.
FORMS OF FEEDBACK
There are many forms of feedback too.
Feedback as a formal performance evaluation, off-the-cuff feedback, reviews (think amazon reviews), and feedback that is specifically asked for by the receiver (the person requesting the feedback).
More specifically, feedback can come in the form of: appreciation (a form of recognition and appreciation), coaching (on how to do better next time), or evaluation (here is where you are currently measuring up to be).
BECAUSE RECEIVING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK CAN BE HIT OR MISS, BELOW ARE FIVE TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU ARE ON THE RECEIVING END OF THE FEEDBACK LOOP:
1. Keep in mind WHO the feedback in coming from. Knowing who is providing the feedback is critical when understanding how to digest the information being delivered to you. Is this person someone you trust, admire, or look up to? Is this someone who has been a consistent resource to you in your career? Is this person more experienced than you, especially as it relates to the feedback being delivered? If yes, then you know the feedback is most likely coming from a helpful place. If not, then be mindful of how much of the information you take in – it might not be as constructive as it is intended to be.
2. Be aware of your physical response to the feedback. When you are receiving the feedback, take note of how your body is changing when you are listening to the feedback. Is your heart rate racing? Are your palms sweating? Or are you calm, and collected? Check in with how your body is responding. If you are overly anxious about receiving the feedback, then you should ask yourself why is this so uncomfortable for you? Why are you responding in this capacity? What is making you the most anxious about the feedback? This is important because when you are tense and overwhelmed with receiving the feedback, the most helpful and constructive feedback might not resonate or land well with you, even if the feedback is well intended. Learn to manage your anxiety first before receiving future feedback.
3. Inquire for clarification. Sometimes feedback is not communicated as effectively as we would like. Ask more clarifying questions to the person delivering you the feedback if you are unclear with next steps. Many times feedback is delivered, but the “how to” portion of the feedback is not. Feedback is not helpful when you are more unclear at the end of the conversation. Try not to walk away from the conversation without knowing how to get better next time or the “how to” improve your performance.
4. Ask for support. When you are receiving the feedback, if you recognize a gap in your expertise, knowledge, or training, make sure to ask for help. Especially if the feedback is coming from your manager or boss. If you are aware that there is an opportunity for more learning, make sure to ask for that.
5. All forms of feedback can be viewed as helpful feedback. Believe it or not, not everyone will be happy with your efforts or performance, even if it is well intended. Receiving all types of feedback is a good way for you to keep in mind that it is absolutely impossible to please everyone. When you are trying to please everyone, you please no one, especially yourself.
Most importantly, be gracious of the feedback when you are receiving it.
It takes time, energy, courage, and intention for someone to share their honest and constructive feedback with you.
Let me know how you get on in obtaining feedback!