It’s officially time for my second round of annual reviews. Last year, I made a post all about feedback and what I learned from five short months in the business world. Were there some good points? Yes, however as I approach year two of my career, I’ve started looking at feedback from a different perspective.
Instead of defining feedback, let’s talk about what it is not.
This year, I’ve had the opportunity to not only receive feedback, but give feedback. Feedback is clear, concise, and actionable advice that correlates with examples. It is not a time to nitpick and identify an interaction from a year ago that you just didn’t like. It is also not a once a year discussion.
Annual feedback is a necessity. Depending on your company or industry, you have a formal package of information from your peers and superiors that highlights where you excel and what you can improve on. The only caveat with annual feedback is that we should provide feedback all the time.
Feedback is Ongoing. If you only receive reviews once a year, you’ve already lost 364 days to improve. Though the formal feedback process may only operate formally as an annual process, you can always ask for more. Seek out information on your performance by setting up monthly or bi-weekly catch-ups with your manager. Not only will it give you insight to your progression, but also showcase your desire for growth to senior leaders.
While ongoing feedback may not be formal, document it when you can. I keep track of email feedback and jot down lists of things I need to improve. This list is vital for future promotion and compensation discussions.
Thoughts from your peers matter. Don’t limit the advice you seek to senior leaders. Although senior leaders may have more experience and a higher title, the opinions of junior employees is just as helpful. Frankly, more valuable reviews may come from your peers because you work with them more directly. Take the time to get all perspectives of your progression. Need more reasons to listen to your peers, learn more about networking across.
Don’t limit yourself to networking across just for feedback purposes. Knowing what your peers are doing and their experiences are part of learning your company and identifying your career trajectory.
Accepting the feedback, even if it’s not stellar.
If you’re thinking of a response, you may not be actively listening. Active listening requires you to focus on what the speaker is saying to you. If you don’t understand, ask. Don’t treat critiques as an attack or retreat to disputing the speaker’s perspective. If you aren’t listening to the advice , there’s no way you’ll be able to implement it.
It’s a fact that some “feedback” is just wrong or bias. Seek thoughtful information from credible individuals who know your work. Let them voice their opinion, then decide if it is something that you intend to act on or improve.
Write it down and set your intentions. It doesn’t make sense to ask for an assessment and not act on it. Following your catch-ups, highlight the areas of concerns and where you excel. Identify actions you can take to improve or maintain the skill sets. Go a step farther and share your intentions with a mentor or colleague who can help keep you accountable.
Set a cadence to review your intentions and hold yourself accountable. Even go back to your initial reviewers for a check-in quarterly to see your progress from another lens.
Whether you’re in the first years of your career or have tons of experience, feedback is valuable. Maintain a constant line of communication with your peers and colleagues so that you can receive their advice and act. As cliche as it may sound, feedback is a gift. Use the information to grow. Start improving your skills now with time management.
What are your tips for giving and receiving feedback?