Feedback helps you make better decisions. But where do you find the best feedback? And how does it actually help your performance?
Most people associate feedback with asking another person about their experience, for example: “What did you think of my presentation?”
Sure, that’s a fairly traditional way to get feedback at work. But it is just one of many…
You are a great place to start. Who do you know better than you? And there are so many different ways you can give yourself feedback. Analyse how you respond to other people’s ideas, or how your energy levels dip throughout the day, or how you feel about different tasks at work.
The better you understand how you respond to certain ideas, the more you can spot where your biases blind your thinking. And that’s one of the first steps towards boosting your performance.
When colleagues ask for your help, what kind of problems do they need your help with? This will give you a good idea of where your skills and knowledge are strongest. Or ask yourself who tends to gravitate towards you and who tends to steer clear? And then ask yourself why.
If you can’t look deep within yourself or get feedback from people, then try managers. Performance reviews are good sources of feedback but there are many other areas worth considering. Find out where your manager thinks you need development by comparing their feedback on a range of tasks.
What’s the general mood in the office? Are employees stressed, quiet and tending to show signs of presenteeism? This may suggest people feel undervalued, or maybe their jobs are insecure. And what about senior leaders? Are they similarly anxious? Or maybe they’re relaxed, open to conversation and generally upbeat. So that might be the best time to raise your brilliant new idea – or ask for a raise.
Individuals that look for feedback at work are better at adapting to their environment and are more effective in other areas, such as peer relationships and team building.
For example, by analysing how people respond to your ideas, you can develop your empathy and really begin to understand other people’s ideas, language and reference points.
They can appear as if by magic, and sometimes when you’re least expecting them. But these brainwaves stem from external ideas that incubate in your unconscious. These external ideas do not reach your senses tagged with a light bulb. But the new idea they spark does.
Learn to love the lightbulb. Because nothing drives innovation more than being curious about the world around you.
The more you seek feedback, the greater support you’ll get for your creativity. So Build a supportive environment that encourages your self-improvement.
Encourage people to seek feedback, but to find their own way.Having the freedom and responsibility to shape your own role strengthens proactivity, and is also a route to innovation.
Organisations must also be open to feedback themselves, through multiple channels. Show employees that the organisation takes a proactive and varied approach to feedback-seeking – and that improvements can and do stem from this openness.
This reinforces the idea that feedback has merit in the workplace, and boosts performance – individually and across your organisation.
And getting feedback that you have boosted performance is the best feedback of all.