Feedback is an important part of professional and personal development; you really do need to know what you’re doing right and where you may need support. It can be tough to ask for–and sometimes people aren’t comfortable delivering it–but unfocused feedback isn’t very helpful. So here are three little steps to help you get started

  1. Know what you want to know. Be as specific as you can. “How am I doing?” isn’t going to get you as useful an answer as “How do you think I handled the contract negotiations?”
  2. Ask the right person. Sometimes it’s your boss, but often it’s not. Get feedback from the person who saw you in action and can comment on the behaviors and actions they witnessed.
  3. Be prepared to act on what you hear. Asking for feedback sets the expectation that you’ll do something with the information you get. Even if you get a glowing report, look for ways to do even better next time.

In my next blog post I’ll talk about how to handle the feedback you get.