Whether you want to grow professionally or simply learn something new, asking for feedback is essential to reach your goals. Rather than waiting for your annual review, you should ask for feedback frequently.
Your annual performance review will be thorough on areas you need to improve, but why wait?
4 Benefits Of Asking For Feedback
There are some great benefits to asking for feedback on a regular basis. Put your pride aside, and start improving your skills and professional strengths.
1. You Can Track If You Are Meeting Your Goals or Deadlines
If you are going to invest your time in learning new things, you need to know how well you are doing said things. When you ask for feedback, you'll be able to assess whether or not you are meeting your goals or deadlines. If you are going to receive negative feedback, it's better to ask sooner rather than later.
2. You Can Judge If You Are Enjoyable or Easy To Work With
When others give you feedback, pay attention to their body language and tone of voice. You'll be able to decipher whether or not others think you are great to work with. If they are hesitant to give you feedback, you may be difficult to communicate with.
3. You Can Learn How To Communicate More Effectively
By asking for feedback and receiving it graciously, you are going to learn great communication skills. Constructive criticism is hard to receive! We naturally get defensive and focus on the negative rather than accepting the feedback and making positive changes. Often feedback revolves around communication issues too. Take notes!
4. You Can Get Better At Handling Stress and Challenges
Another common type of constructive criticism you may receive will reflect how well you handle challenges. When you are affected by stress, your actions and words will be more harsh and irrational. Learning how others perceive you during times of stress will help you grow professionally.
How To Ask For Feedback
If you're open to constructive criticism and willing to make changes, asking for feedback doesn't need to be difficult. There are a few things to remember in order to get the best feedback more quickly.
1. Ask Specific Questions
Sure, you could ask, "How am I doing?" You could also develop a few specific questions about your performance or skills. For example, you could ask, "How well am I communicating to customers over the phone?" or, "Are there any areas where I could improve with my weekly reports?" You'll get a direct response rather than a vague answer with this approach.
2. Ask The Same Questions To Different People
If you ask the same specific questions to multiple people, you'll get a range of perspectives to work with. Someone who works with you more directly may have a different tactic for you to try while a supervisor or manager will have a goal in mind for you to reach. These different perspectives will help you decipher what actions you should take moving forward.
3. Identify The Response Pattern
Despite the differences in who you ask (as discussed above), you'll notice a couple patterns. How are the majority of people reacting to your request for feedback: are they hesitant or willing to instruct? Are the responses consistent? If you notice there is no response pattern, that in itself addresses an issue to resolve.
4. Develop An Action Strategy
Once you have identified what needs to be improved, it's helpful to create an action strategy. Decide what you are going to do to improve, determine how you are going to improve and set a few milestones to aim for. There are so many online resources, including ebooks and courses, to consider if you need a little extra help as well.
5. Reach Out For Support
Do you need a little extra training? Ask a manager or mentor to work with you on the areas you need to improve. Having support from coworkers or team leadership is a great way to stay focused and gain insight from those more experienced.