Manager feedback is important for helping you know how well you are performing in your job. However, many managers are reluctant to offer feedback. If your manager fails to provide beneficial feedback, it’s your job to take the next step and seek better feedback.
Decide When and Where to Ask
If your manager is not offering feedback, it is time for you to take charge and ask for better feedback yourself. However, rushing into your manager’s office or blurting it out at a meeting does not provide the clear and concise feedback you want. When and where you ask plays a huge role in how your manager responds to your questions. It is best to talk to your manager in a one-on-one meeting instead of in front of other employees, especially if your manager is already uncomfortable with providing feedback. In addition, instead of springing the questions on your manager, set up a meeting and send an email or memo stating what questions you are going to ask. This gives your manager time to prepare a thorough answer.
Ask the Right Questions
No doubt, your burning question is, “How am I doing?” However, that is a vague question, and you will get a vague response. Instead of asking one vague question, ask several specific questions. Ask how you are doing at a particular task or project and how you can do better at that particular aspect of your job. Don’t be afraid to express how you feel you’re doing, so your manager can build off it. Through asking the right questions, you get better feedback from your manager and everyone else.
Talk About Your Goals
If your manager still is not providing better feedback on how well you are doing, discuss the future. Talk about your business goals for the future, and ask your manager what skills you need to reach those goals within the company. Ask what obstacles are holding you back and what you can do to overcome them. This helps open a dialogue and prompts your manager to provide better feedback on how you are performing and what you need to change.
Take Critical Feedback Well
Whatever you do, don’t take critical feedback poorly. Your manager is already uncomfortable about providing feedback for this very reason. If you get upset and react negatively, your manager is going to avoid giving you feedback in the future. Instead of getting upset, ask what you can do better to correct these behaviors, attitudes or mistakes. Taking critical feedback in stride makes your manager want to continue providing feedback.
With these tips, better feedback is within reach. Use manager feedback to grow and develop professionally to better reach your career goals.
(Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net)
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