How to request for feedback on your work

How to request for feedback on your work

Are you wondering if you could improve on your day-to-day responsibilities at work, and if so, how? Or maybe you’ve completed the first section of a challenging assignment and you’d like to know if you’re on the right track before continuing on. Or perhaps you’ve just finalized an important report and would like to know if your work met expectations. Whatever the situation, if you want to do your job well, it’s only natural to want feedback on your professional performance.

However, getting that feedback isn’t always easy. Of course, there are official performance reviews, but according to Harvard Business Review, just over a third of managers complete employee evaluations properly and on time. Moreover, a recent survey revealed that over 55 percent of employees felt their most recent appraisal was inaccurate. Additionally, 25 percent agreed they dreaded performance reviews more than any other aspect of their professional lives.

Clearly, the thought of requesting feedback on your work can be intimidating. After all, constructive criticism can be hard to accept, especially when you’ve done your best. Yet good feedback is what will help you improve your performance and enhance your skills. And that’s exactly why you need to be able to request and accept constructive feedback on your work on a regular basis, without waiting for official performance reviews. Here are some tips on how to request feedback on your work:

  • Ask both colleagues and your supervisor
    Avoid asking only your direct supervisor for feedback, since that might result in a limited picture. Everybody on a team has his or her specific focus and insights, so asking each person involved in the project for constructive criticism will allow you to form a comprehensive overview of your performance. For example, if you’re asking for feedback on a presentation on social media marketing, a PR professional will have different insights from a designer or a researcher.
  • Ask about specific aspects of your performance
    Avoid general questions that can result in broad, non-specific feedback. Instead, ask questions that pertain specifically to the skills you want to improve on. For example, if you want to improve your written communication skills, ask if your copy was clear and correct, or if you’re looking to improve your research skills, inquire if the research was comprehensive and well-organized.
  • Be prompt
    Don’t wait too long to ask for feedback. Sparkhire advises speak with people about your performance while it’s still fresh in their minds. That way, they’ll be in a better position to recall the project or assignment you’re referring to without having to go back and review it again. The easier you make it for them to help you, the better your chances of getting comprehensive and accurate feedback that’s delivered in a constructive manner.
  • Avoid getting upset or defensive
    While it’s great to receive positive feedback, you’re more likely to learn from feedback that shows you where you can improve. However, receiving such feedback isn’t always easy. Avoid getting upset or defensive by concentrating on the message, not the way it’s being said or who’s saying it. Some people have a more tactful way of expressing themselves than others, but that’s not to say that they’re the only ones with useful insights. Always thank the person and say you’ll take his or her feedback under consideration.
  • Assess the feedback
    Take some time to evaluate the feedback you’ve received. Ask yourself if carries truth—even if it’s difficult to acknowledge you could have done better. Granted, there will be times when, after objectively assessing criticism, you feel it’s unfounded, but more often than not, there’ll be a lesson you can learn to improve your performance.
  • Absorb what’s useful
    Having assessed what’s useful, apply it. For example, if you learned your report contained spelling errors, make sure to proofread every bit of writing you do from now on. Or if you’ve been told your research could have been organized better, concentrate on learning more logical ways to include information in your next report. If you don’t know how to improve based on the feedback you received, ask a colleague or your supervisor for guidance.

Asking for feedback can be daunting, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be in a better position to learn how you can improve in those areas that are most important to your performance. And by incorporating constructive feedback into your daily work, you can enhance your skills and advance your career in a manner that benefits both you and your company. 

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