Asking for feedback is not a simple task – it requires a level of vulnerability and let’s face it, being able to admit that we’re not perfect! Once you’ve determined your list of trusted colleagues, family and friends to participate, it’s time to get intentional on your approach.
What to do…
- Explain to others why you are looking for feedback –what you hope to obtain and share your goals
- Ask them to be specific (what they observed, the reactions of others, and so on)
- Listen up! This is important – ask people how it made them feel. Don’t negate the importance of the heart response – and pay attention to the non-verbal cues
- Actively listen and then paraphrase what you heard to ensure understanding
- Ask for alternatives to your approach and/or behavior
- Respect those that choose not to engage in the process and thank those that do
What not to do…
- Don’t try and defend your behavior – simply listen and avoid being defensive (theres’ plenty of time to process later)
- Don’t interrupt – allow the person providing feedback to finish their thoughts. Then you can ask clarifying questions
- Don’t allow those awkward moments of silence to hinder the process. Sit with them and allow space to contemplate…some true gems of wisdom just might emerge
Remember that feedback is subjective – so take it all in, process it – but don’t allow it to rock your world. Fairly evaluate where you see consistency, where you see growth opportunities, and how to apply them in your development. And finally, make sure to stay connected with these people that took time to invest in you. Allow moments for follow-up and continually seek out feedback that helps you stay on course to meet your goals.
Written by Shalyn Eyer