Receiving feedback is an excellent vehicle for improving your job performance and accelerating your career.
Many people can give you useful feedback. But you need to choose your sources carefully.
Decide the kind of feedback you need to improve your performance or presence in the workplace. Then approach your bosses, peers, direct reports, customers, professional coaches, or friends.
You can ask for feedback from multiple sources. Just make sure to ask those whom you trust and who you know will be honest and direct with you.
Be careful not to overdo asking for feedback. After all, you want to avoid being stereotyped. A common stereotype in the American workplace is that foreign-born professionals can be “high maintenance.” That is, they need a lot of supervision and cannot make decisions on their own.
You can also get valuable feedback on how you are doing just by monitoring your environment.
Check, for example, if your boss is giving you increasingly challenging projects. Notice if your colleagues ask you for help or advice. Observe how people relate to you during meetings.
We first discuss benefits of feedback for your career advancement. Second, we provide six tips to help you receive feedback so you can use the valuable information to accelerate your career.
Benefits of Feedback
Why is feedback an essential tool in advancing your career?
First, feedback can help you set goals or update your goals. Goals, in turn, act as motivators for higher performance.
Second, feedback lets you know how well you are progressing toward your goals. If the feedback is favorable, it can act to reinforce your efforts.
If the feedback is negative, it can help you re-focus, increase your efforts, or figure out other ways of achieving your goals.
Third, feedback can help you raise the bar in setting future goals.
How to Receive Feedback
To help you receive and make use of valuable feedback to advance your career, you must know how to receive feedback.
Here are six tips for appropriate behavior when getting feedback:
Actively listen to the feedback by paraphrasing, repeating back, and summarizing what you have heard.
If the feedback is general, ask for examples of specific, recent behavior.
Try not to be defensive, make excuses, or blame others when you hear negative feedback. Instead, focus on listening carefully and asking clarifying questions.
Once the feedback is complete, summarize what the other person said to make sure you understand.
Ask the other person for help with formulating a plan that includes clear performance measures so you both can evaluate future performance.
Follow up with the other person to ask how you are doing and also to let them know how their feedback is helping you. This is an important part of continuing to build your relationship with them.
In summary, receiving feedback is an important opportunity for your professional development.
Always remember that you are managing impressions of you as well as seeking information that can improve your performance.