It’s no secret that feedback is an important asset in the workplace. When done thoughtfully, it not only impacts individual growth and allows people to work on self-improvement, but also pushes people towards organizational goals. Often times, it’s helpful to gain a third party perspective, but where do you start?
We’ve outlined three tips to help you get started on the right foot.
Define Your Goals
It’s easy when evaluating your own work, to look for a quick fix. Making notes to reflect on the work you create, with both short term tasks and long-term projects, will help you focus on realistic goals. Set reasonable, actionable goals that are achievable against your desired timeline – high but not unattainable. It is imperative to recognize that feedback is an ongoing process. There are a couple ways to make that process a bit more bearable, and beneficial.
First, take a step back from the projects and meetings you have on a daily, weekly basis and determine your areas of focus. A great technique to define your goals, is using the SMART acronym – Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Timely. As Ann-Marie Jennette suggests, “Create a list, considering it as a queue of items you’d like to accomplish. A list of possibilities! Break it down to identify the size of each individually, asking yourself how much time, dedication, resources and others you need to accomplish that goal.” Once you define your areas of strength and improvement, you’ll be able to ask better questions and seek appropriate and actionable advice.
Next, write your thoughts down and keep a log of your progress. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. By keeping track of your areas of improvement, you can attribute times of growth to specific workplace experiences. Whether you organized a well-thought out agenda for a team meeting or positioned yourself as a leader for a large scale project, log what worked well so you are able to capitalize on those skills for next time.
Ask For Help
Third party perspectives are valuable – use them. Once your focus areas are established, and you’ve thought through how they align with your career goals, you can then ask for guidance. When seeking input from others, be specific. The more context and details you provide, the better. Asking for feedback can often make you feel vulnerable, so tapping into your network while keeping their anonymity, is powerful. With Everwise, you can easily access insights and suggestions from your peers and colleagues and avoid the potential awkwardness of asking for help on a sensitive work topic.
In fact, Everwise recently released our feedback tool, allowing users to determine their focus areas by soliciting anonymous feedback from their friends and colleagues. We offer this tool as a standalone resource and it is now accessible through the timeline feature within the platform. With the feedback tool, you are able to:
- Ask people you trust: Choose areas you’d like to improve then poll your peers and colleagues.
- Hear how to improve: Get insights into where to focus your professional development efforts.
- Anonymous and private to you: Receive anonymous feedback that no one else can access other than you.
Make It A Habit
Don’t let feedback overwhelm you, use it your advantage and make it a priority. Rather than applying all of the feedback at once, create a game plan that allows for an on-going process. Carve out time at the beginning of each week and highlight one area to focus on. Frequently measure your goals against the guidance you receive from peers and colleagues and reevaluate when necessary. It can be challenging and time consuming, but over time you will see behavioral change. Bonus? Your team and manager will too.
What happens if you hit a roadblock at work that sets you back on making progress toward the feedback that you’ve received? While most feedback tools are in place to help with professional growth, it can be difficult to have your areas of focus pointed about by your manager or peer. And possibly discouraging if the feedback you receive seems off-base. Don’t let feedback consume you. Continue to apply your areas of strength and develop the areas of improvement, but don’t let it overwhelm your day-to-day responsibilities or work relationships. Use it as a guide to better your personal and professional relationships and continue to gain insights from colleagues and friends along the way.
Check out the Everwise feedback tool here and continue to work towards your goals.