How to ask for feedback that will actually help you
Say goodbye to feedback-phobia - 5 steps to ask for the feedback we didn’t get but definitely need
Let’s face it, feedback-phobia is real. It’s so real that when asked how often they receive feedback, most people say: “not often”. The truth is, we don’t like giving feedback, and we don’t like receiving it—unless it’s positive, but even that can make some of us uncomfortable. As a result, we often avoid or procrastinate on having feedback conversations. But why do we dread it so much?
The reasons vary. It could be due to past experiences, where we were unfairly criticized or attacked, or we received feedback that was too harsh and overwhelming. Or perhaps we received advice that was more confusing than helpful, which made us question: “why bother?”. To make matters worse, we’ve come to associate feedback with performance review season, which usually determines our career progression, so feedback becomes less about growth and more about, “Am I getting my bonus? Am I getting promoted? Am I getting fired?”.
That’s all very unfortunate, because we all need feedback to grow, whether we like it or not. We all make mistakes and have blind spots and areas that need improvement. We sometimes make incorrect assumptions and say things that don’t land well with others. Without feedback, we’ll continue making the same mistakes.
But what if the feedback we get isn’t useful or, worse, it isn’t given to us at all? We can learn to ask for useful feedback! The key to maximizing the chances of receiving meaningful feedback is in asking for it the right way. In this article, we will discuss strategies on how to achieve that so we can start enjoying receiving feedback and accelerate our growth.
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Dismantling the feedback myths
There are a lot of myths about getting feedback. Before we touch on the “how” of getting feedback, it’s important we dismantle these myths because it will allow us to think about feedback more broadly and feel less dreadful about it.
Myth #1: “If you’re not receiving feedback, it means you’re doing great.” Actually, the only thing that it means is that you have no idea how you’re doing.
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