Easy ways to ask for feedback at work
How well do you really know yourself? How long would it take you to list your values, interests, strengths, areas of development and personality traits? And even if you are aware of them at this point in time of your life, do you notice when they start to shift and transform in response to new experiences or changes in your environment?
This level of self-awareness is an amazing asset when it comes to navigating your career and, well, life in general.
One invaluable way to develop self-awareness about your professional skillset, working style and even personality is to seek out continuous feedback whilst on the job – this includes part-time, casual and side hustles as well as your main ‘career’ roles.
Sometimes it can be tempting to shy away from constructive feedback, or to simply cruise if everything seems to be going OK. But, by doing this we shut ourselves off from receiving some excellent information to help us grow and develop – information that is especially useful if you hit a period in your career where you’re feeling uninspired or stagnant. Because, if you reflect closely you will likely find clues to help inspire your next project or transition, or, at least start to get you thinking about new possibilities.
You may be thinking that you only have the opportunity to receive tangible feedback during formalised workplace programs, such as a probationary period, structured graduate program, or your performance appraisals. However, sometimes the most beneficial feedback is that received in everyday informal workplace scenarios such as:
- Your manager asking you to include an extra dataset in your report
- Brainstorming a new process with your teammates
- A teammate requesting to shadow you performing a certain task for additional training
- An indirect manager thanking you for your contribution to an ad hoc task
To uncover actionable feedback within such daily interactions, consider using the below approach:
1. Use open-ended questions to invite detailed and insightful feedback
If possible, ask these questions in the moment as we tend to offer the most considered feedback while we’re present in an experience. You may want to try out the following phrases:
- Is there anything to add?
- How did that go?
- How do you think that went?
- Do you think there is anything missing?
- Any tips for me to improve?
- How would you tackle this?
- I’m unsure about X, do you have some time to brainstorm with me?
- What would you do differently next time?
- How would you take this to the next level?
2. Focus on comments directly related to content and behaviour rather than personality
It can be hard to take action in response to comments describing your personality, such as comments that you present as “highly professional”, “somewhat reserved” or “low energy”. Where possible, try to gain insights into specific actions that demonstrated the personality trait you’re being described as.
3. End your interaction to check your understanding of the feedback and confirm any actions to help you improve for next time
What are you going to do with this information? How are you going to implement the feedback? Do you need to take immediate action or is a skill you’ll need to develop over time?
Navigating your career with self-awareness, ambition, and attentiveness can be hard for the best of us, but seeking feedback from your personal and professional network is a great way to start. It’s also an essential soft skill in many workplaces, which is why aptitude and career assessment tests have gained popularity in the recruitment process.
Practise self-awareness and get prepared for your next career step without the pressure of the real thing with Abintegro. And next time you ask for feedback, keep our three steps in mind!
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
With over 6 years experience in HR, recruitment and training based roles, Prajyana is currently working as an Employability Coordinator with UTS Careers. She has developed skills in relationship building, career coaching and a special interest in graduate recruitment and enhancing employability for international students. She enjoys learning from others and working in environments that are dynamic and vibrant.