6 Tips for Getting Great Feedback

You may not always know how you’re doing at work, and that’s why feedback is crucial to seek. Don’t take this the wrong way, but sometimes as humans, we are terrible at seeing the reality of situations.

At home, with friends and especially at work, most of us think we’re fabulous at a certain thing, or that we’re always well prepared or friendly to everyone. The truth is, there’s always room for growth, even in the areas where you excel.

But take heart, there is a solution to getting even better: ask for and absorb feedback. Feedback from people you trust provides a clear mirror for your behavior and interactions in the workplace.

Use these six steps to get started:

  1. Choose wisely. You’re going to make changes to your behavior or production based on the feedback you get, so choose someone who is knowledgeable and respected in the field. It’s also generally better to ask for feedback from a person who is your senior—if there’s a co-worker on equal footing who is just an ace at their job, feel free to reach out to him or her, too.
  2. Set a time. Don’t just offhandedly ask someone what they thought of your presentation. Instead, ask your colleague beforehand about analyzing your presentation, then schedule time with them afterward to discuss. Most people will give better feedback if they know you’re going to ask about it.
  3. Watch your body language. How you look, the faces you make and the way you react can tell the person giving you feedback that you’re either defensive and angry, or grateful to hear it.
  4. Weigh the feedback. There will be instances in which you feel the feedback isn’t accurate. Please never use this point as a way to ignore or refute all the great feedback. If someone doesn’t know enough about the situation or have the experience to weigh in, it’s OK to get additional opinions. If something doesn’t ring true, talk it over with someone else.
  5. Say thank you. Write a hand-written card or send an email follow-up to thank the person for spending time and energy on you. Add in a few of the specific things they mentioned and your game plan for working on them.
  6. Do something. It’s one thing to get feedback. It’s another thing to implement For example, if someone points out that your expense reports are often late, set a calendar reminder for three days before they’re due. If your teammate points out that you mumble during presentations, make a point to speak clearly next time.

The very best advice about feedback is to ask for it. Understand that you may not be seeing your biggest blind spots and that the people you work with care about seeing you get better and better.

It takes a little humility and a little courage, but asking for feedback will make the biggest improvement on your performance and your career.