You need feedback to learn, grow, and succeed at your job. And if you have to wait for your annual review for it to happen, then you’re not getting nearly enough.

Get Feedback So You Can Get Ahead

You may be hesitant to ask your manager for feedback, but the more often you do, the less stressful it becomes, and it will make you happier and more productive at work. It’s not just fishing for compliments. It’s seeking honest, helpful input to improve your performance. And it underlines your commitment to your job and your company.

Know what you’re looking for.

Do you need coaching? More appreciation or recognition? Or simply an evaluation of your recent work? Knowing this will help you craft your approach to the conversation you’ll be having with your manager.

Ask sooner rather than later.

A good time to get your boss’s thoughts and learn from the experience is while it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind. The best feedback is that which you get in real time. For instance, pull your manager aside right after a client meeting or presentation to get input on how you did. This will help you begin to create a more organic feedback loop going forward.

Keep an open mind.

Never be defensive. You don’t have to agree 100 percent, but be sure to listen and accept feedback graciously. Say thank you. Reacting less than professionally will do more harm than good.

Pose specific questions.

A generic “How am I doing?” approach won’t get you very far. It may provoke just a simple, one-word answer. Instead, ask specific questions about both the good and the bad. Try to tailor your questions to specific situations. For example, ask something like, “What could I have done better with the second half of the Power Point, as I introduced the new marketing plan?” This doesn’t have to be a formal meeting. It can be just a brief coaching moment in an elevator or over coffee.

Get input from others, in addition to your boss.

Don’t just look up the organizational chart for feedback, but also left, right and if it’s helpful, down. To facilitate regular feedback from colleagues, offer observations about and praise for their work. You’ll get more feedback when you’re giving some.

Write it down.

Keep a record of feedback you receive. Maintain a “compliments file.” It will keep you motivated and also be useful when you’re up for a raise or promotion or vying for a new position.

Are you looking for a new job?

As you grow your career in engineering, accounting, finance, marketing, logistics or supply chain management, consider partnering with TRC Professional Solutions. We can help you develop your skillset and uncover career-building opportunities nationwide. Explore new jobs or contact us today to learn more.

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