Seek out feedback!
What is the first thought that comes to mind when you think about getting feedback? Does it make you nervous, anxious, or does it get you excited?
Recently, I attended a workshop on how to give and receive meaningful feedback. What I learned opened my eyes to the power feedback has in helping us continually learn and grow but asking for feedback is not easy or the first thing that comes to mind when looking for ways to improve. There could be a variety of reasons feedback is not sought after such as, we may have had a bad experience with it in the past and are afraid of going through a similar situation again, maybe we aren’t in a mental state to take in feedback yet, or maybe we don’t want to hear the things we need to improve about ourselves. Personally, I have used all of those reasons but I realize now that getting meaningful feedback from those I trust is the difference between going from coasting along and thinking my skills are improving when they may not be to actually understand what I need to improve to make real progress towards my goals.
Asking for meaningful feedback is a skill we can learn quickly and start reaping the benefits of it in a short amount of time.
The words we use matter.
Let’s look at two examples of asking for feedback to see which one is more effective:
Hey Sarah, what do you think of my presentation?
Hey Sarah, I would love to get your help during my presentation today. I’m trying to bring more energy while I present during meetings. Can you let me know how I perform?
As you can see the first request is vague and after the fact. The feedback I would receive is probably, “You did great!” or “I liked it.” Sarah is probably busy with other things during the meeting and may not have paid close attention to my delivery of the presentation.
The second example of requesting feedback, on the other hand, is honest, timely, and specific. Sara understands I am trying to improve myself. It was timely because I asked her before the meeting happened so she can be on the lookout. Also, I was specific in my request in asking about the energy I bring during my presentation so Sarah knows exactly the feedback she needs to provide.
Feedback can get us on track to achieve our goals, improve our skills, and reach our goals.
Feedback is powerful and life-changing.
Identify one skill you need to improve upon and ask someone you trust to give you feedback on it. Remember to make it honest, timely, and specific! Also, you must ask in person, no emails!
I would love to hear what your experience has been with asking for and receiving feedback.