Getting constructive feedback on a regular basis is key towards a healthy career progression. Without knowing what you can do better and how to do it better, your performance will remain stagnant, which leads to complacency and declining enthusiasm and passion for the job. It is for this reason why you should learn how to ask for feedback from your manager, or with any other senior you’re working close with in the workplace.
That said, asking for feedback means inviting critique and putting yourself in a vulnerable position. It’s not a pleasant prospect. But without critique and advice, there can be no progress.
Here are five handy tips on how to ask for feedback from your manager, plus the best way to put it into action:
Ask for feedback on specific projects or tasks
Don’t ask for general feedback – your manager wouldn’t know where to start. It also makes you look unfocused and lacking in direction. Keep it simple and clear. Ask for feedback upon completion of specific projects or tasks, and do it within a week of completing those projects, when the process is still fresh in your manager’s memory.
Prepare a list of performance areas you’d like feedback on. Examples include: communication, planning, problem-solving, customer service, technical skills, etc. Your manager might add to the list or fine-tune it, but it’s a good way to get the ball rolling.
Schedule a weekly meeting for it
Make sure your boss sets time aside for this, so you can have a proper discussion rather than a hurried 10-minute conversation. Scheduling a weekly meeting for it also demonstrates initiative on your part, which tells your manager you’re serious about getting his or her feedback on your performance.
Making it a regular occurrence will prompt your manager to put more thought into these feedback sessions as he or she starts to see you improve with each weekly session.
Document each feedback session
Record all the feedback you get from your manager for future reference. The documentation will come in handy for comparative reviews to see how much progress you’ve made. These records also double as an archive of your achievements and a portfolio of key projects you’ve managed and/or contributed to. It will be useful material for updating your resume.
Evaluate the feedback with an open mind
Your manager isn’t always right. Maybe there are certain aspects of the way you work that he or she doesn’t appreciate due to a different approach or work philosophy. That’s fine. You don’t have to agree with everything your manager says, but it’s important to reflect on the feedback with an open and unbiased state of mind. If you need further clarification, ask for it. What’s important is to engage in a healthy dialogue and respect any difference of opinion rather than to take it personally and get defensive about it.
Apply the feedback to your daily tasks
Making a conscious effort to apply the feedback in your daily tasks not only accelerates your professional growth, it also shows your manager that you value his or her feedback. Last but not least, it also demonstrates to your manager that you’re dedicated to your job and passionate about self-improvement. These are all strong attributes that any manager would value in a team member.
The prospect of asking for feedback might be a tad unnerving. After all, who likes to be on the receiving end of critical feedback? But knowing where and how to improve is essential towards one’s career growth and progression. If you want to move up the career ladder, learning how to ask for feedback from your manager is a great way to stay on track towards achieving your goals. Thankfully, you have the right guide in front of you to help you do just that.