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Why we need feedback and how to ask for it

May 5, 2014

feedback image

One of the things I do not miss to do every Monday morning is to look for the topic of “Power of connection” chat (hashtag #PoCchat ).  I always enjoy being a part of this discussion because it talks about bringing out the best in our personal & professional lives by utilizing the power of social connections.

Today’s topic “How to give & Take feedback” was not just intriguing but was far more compelling to me. From last few days I was constantly being baffled by the thought of asking or not asking for the feedback of my work form a perspective client.It is about a new career move which I will talk about later once it works out well.  I understand that whether I make it or not, in either case, feedback is important but yet asking for feedback was not just coming to me.

It happens with all of us. At times, we hesitate to ask for feedback. Why?

  •          We do not know how to ask.
  •          We fear criticism and disappointment.
  •          We assume that feedback must come without asking for it.
  •           May be because of all the above reasons.

Yet, we understand that feedback is essential. Whatever be the situation, a new assignment, a project, a report, a new service or even a new behavior pattern, feedback provides opportunities for satisfaction, encouragement and learning. If we are good at something, feedback encourages us to do better. If we are not good, it helps us improve and do it a new way.

If you want an honest and true feedback, asking is the best way. So, what is the best way to ask for feedback?

Open conversation with a clear mind  – Why do you want this feedback, for personal satisfaction, improvement or an appreciation for your work? Do you really trust the person whom you are asking for feedback? Why is his opinion important to you? Unless you really want a feedback , you will not be able to benefit from it.

Be willing to listen and acceptListening without being defensive and accepting your shortcoming (even praise in that matter) is the first step to improvement.

Criticism is a learning opportunity – Do not resist a negative feedback. It is difficult but a real critic is more helpful than a false praiser. Look for opportunities to improvement and work on them.

Handle feedback with confidenceIf you go in denial or feel embarrassed if someone gives you an honest feedback of your work or behavior you are not deal with the feedback in the right way. It is meant to improve you but unless you handle it with confidence, you can not benefit from it.

Take responsibility to learn and improve– This is what the whole exercise is about learning from the experience and improving for the better.  No one but only we can take the responsibility of being and doing better.

That was my take from today’s #POCchat on feedback . And one important thing it helped me understand was that even if you disagree with a  feedback, there’s always some truth and a lesson to learn from it. Some advice to follow some to avoid (in either case,you are the best judge for yourself) but all of it begins with ASKING that too with the right approach.

Here are some wonderful insights shared during the conversation

So, the next on my To-Do list for today is to write an email requesting for the feedback as I said in the beginning of this post. What are you going to do different with feedback (asking or giving) ?

About #PoCchat: Power of connection chat is a weekly twitter chat hosted by Bobby Umar every Monday at 11 am EST. It discusses every thing about connection, Leadership and Development. If you want to join and follow the discussion,  use hashtag #PoCchat

I will be waiting to hear your views … feedback invited 🙂

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