As the year draws to a close, many companies begin administering performance evaluations to their employees. While these are potentially valuable, performance evaluations alone aren’t enough to get the comprehensive feedback you need to grow your career in many cases.
Feedback is powerful, allowing you to find out more about what you’re nailing and where you’re potentially falling short. Plus, when it’s actionable, it’s easier to make adjustments that bolster your performance, improve your credibility, and otherwise position you for greater success.
Fortunately, securing the professional feedback you need to grow your career isn’t inherently challenging. Here’s how to make it happen.
Adopt the Right Mindset Before Requesting Feedback
Whether you’re participating in a formal performance review or simply requesting feedback from a manager or colleague, you need to have the right mindset. Feedback often includes criticism, and that’s challenging to hear. However, when it’s constructive and actionable, it’s also highly supportive, giving you insights that help you improve in the best possible ways.
When you’re receiving feedback, remain open-minded and avoid defensiveness. Take in what the person is sharing, find the guidance inside the criticisms, and otherwise work to derive value from the conversation. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes is similarly wise, as it lets you understand their reasoning to a greater level.
Ask Clarifying Questions When Receiving Feedback
Whether you’re receiving positive or negative feedback from others, it’s wise to ask clarifying questions if you’re struggling to understand their perspective or any provided guidance. Similarly, if there’s a negative comment that isn’t actionable or constructive, clarifying questions can help you get more meaningful advice.
Begin by paraphrasing what you’ve heard to ensure your understanding. Then, request specific additional insights instead of a general request for more information. That increases your odds of getting the information you need, all while coming across as engaged, adaptable, and dedicated to bettering your performance.
If the person refuses to provide you with the needed insights, then seek out guidance from an appropriate substitute. Share what you were told, and ask if they have any information that could help you move in the proper direction.
Look Beyond Managers and Speak with Other Colleagues
Generally, when professionals are looking for feedback, they focus on their managers. While it’s crucial to get insights from your boss, branching out also works in your favor.
Your direct coworkers, individuals on cross-functional project teams, company leaders, clients, customers, and many others could give you fresh perspectives that lead to meaningful insights. For these, it’s wise to have specific questions in mind and to base them on how you and the other person typically engage at work. Additionally, keep the tone positive and flattering, letting them know you value their opinion and are looking for constructive points that would help you improve.
Bonus Tip: Contact A.R. Mazzotta
Ultimately, professional feedback is critical for growing your career. Use the information above to ensure you head in the right direction. If you’re ready for a new career-boosting role today, contact the team at A.R. Mazzotta to see how we can assist with your search, or visit our website to review our open jobs today