Hello feedback seekers! In “Thanks for the Feedback,” Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen write that “feedback seeking behavior has been linked to higher job satisfaction, greater creativity, faster adaptation, greater retention and higher overall performance ratings.” That means the MORE you SEEK feedback, the more successful you’re likely to become.
Simply put, listening to and acting on feedback allows you to learn, grow, connect and achieve. And yet, Josh Bersin, an HR Industry expert for Forbes, reported that 65% of people say they don’t get enough feedback, which can then lower performance, engagement and well-being because it can actually make you anxious, suspicious and less confident.
So clearly, getting feedback is up to you, but what is the art of seeking it? Seeking feedback can sound easy, but it really isn’t that simple: (1) It’s important to check your intent and be certain that it’s to LEARN rather than to be VALIDATED. Ask, “How can I bring more, bigger ideas?” versus “Am I creative enough?” (2) It’s also important to be specific, such as by asking, “Is there one thing I could’ve done better in that meeting?” versus “How did I do?” Vague questions can be more uncomfortable for others because they don’t know what you want them to say. The truth is most people are afraid to give feedback (and yes, that may even include your boss!) because they worry about your reaction. So, make it easier for them by being specific in your request.
While these tips are a great start, they might leave you wondering: “What else can I do?” One thing you can do is LISTEN to fully understand the feedback and avoid rejecting it. It’s also key that you take action based on what you learned and follow up. This will show the other person that you took what they shared with you to heart. Finally, never forget to thank the other person for their honesty and support. It’s always good to let them know you truly value their feedback and the relationship.
The bottom line is that it can feel scary to ask for open and honest feedback, but it doesn’t have to be. Give it a try!