How to Ask for Feedback
Everyone wishes they could know what our managers actually think about them and ger the feedback they need. Is there something you can improve on? Are you doing great at your job? Are you terrible? Or are you being groomed for upper management? For most people, this is a complete mystery. At best, their questions only sever get half-answered during their reviews. Why let this be your reality? If you want to know how you’re doing, what improvements you can make, and everything you need to know to be better at your job, all you need to do is ask.
Today, we’re here to teach you why asking for feedback is important and how to do it the right way.
Why Feedback Matters
Studies show that an overwhelming number of employees want to know how they’re doing. Feedback plays an important role in how we succeed at our jobs and excel in our careers. Better yet, asking for feedback allows us to make adjustments and changes long before any kind of review. That means you won’t be blindsided with complaints and concerns from your manager when you’re trying to negotiate for a raise.
That being said, it’s understandable that people don’t know how to ask for feedback. It can be nerve-racking to schedule a performance meeting, especially if you think there’s something you might not be doing great at. It’s worth it. Let’s get into how to set up a meeting and what to get out of it.
Schedule a Meeting the Right Way
After putting off asking for feedback for months, it might be tempting to burst out your questions next time you see your manager in the elevator or relaxing at the holiday party. Don’t do this. Rather, gather your courage and send your boss an email and asking to discuss feedback. Give them some times that work for you and ask when/if those work with their schedule. This shows that you’re proactive as well as giving them space where they can be prepared to have that meeting with you.
If they don’t respond to your email, don’t be afraid to send a follow-up or walk over to their office to schedule a meeting.
If you’re taking the time to schedule a feedback meeting and your manager is setting part of their day aside to meet with you, make sure you’re prepared. Be ready with what parts of your job you want to talk about. Suggest areas where you think you might need improvement in or where you think your manager will have insights. Being able to guide the conversation with well-thought-out questions will make the most of your meeting.
Engage in the Meeting
It’s important to remember that the point of this meeting is for you. It’s not a formality and it’s not something you’re obligated to do. Feedback meetings are entirely to give you a launching-off point for your performance and an idea of the changes you need to make. So, when you’re in the meeting, listen, take notes, and be responsive. You should leave with a clear idea of the things you’re doing well, where you can improve, and the actionable steps you need to take. Do everything in your power to get these answers.
Utilize the Feedback
You have your feedback, you feel good about meeting with your manager, and know you’re ready to never do anything with that again. Wait…there’s something wrong with that last part. The meeting is just the first part of the process. What’s the point of having the meeting if you’re not going to do anything with it? Once you have your feedback, make an action plan for how you’re going to use it. Starting with setting a timeline, getting organized, and following-up is exactly what you should be doing. Showing that you can take feedback and implement it, is the perfect way to get recognized at your company and advance in your career.
Don’t Stop There
Receiving and implementing feedback isn’t a one-time thing. It should be something that you incorporate into your routine. That doesn’t necessarily mean having feedback meetings every week, but rather making these meetings occur regularly. That can mean they happen weekly, monthly, or on some other timeline, but that they are reoccurring. You’re always changing, improving, and adapting, there’s always things to discuss so don’t worry about not having anything to talk about in ensuing meetings.
Asking for feedback doesn’t have to be a big production. It can and should be a regular occurrence in your work. Feedback gives you a look into how others see your performance and how you can grow within your position and company. So, go ahead and schedule a meeting with your manager, we’re sure they’ll be happy to help you better yourself.
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