How to get honest feedback
You’ve got your new job or been hired as part of a team. But how do you know on an ongoing basis how you’re doing? Whilst there may be formal appraisal processes in place, your first one may be months away, and you want to know right away you’re working along the right lines!
If you are new to the business or a specific team, encouraging constructive feedback can be a challenge. So we have brought together a few hints and tips to create a more open workplace where giving feedback is accepted, and even welcomed.
Work with your colleagues
Not just in the literal sense, but get to know and understand them. A sense of camaraderie can make all the difference to how people operate, and subsequently how comfortable they are to be open and honest enough to provide constructive feedback on how you’re doing.
Make the extra effort to get to know the team and don’t be afraid to ask questions, as it will help them see you are eager to succeed. Ask your team how they would handle projects and establish an ongoing dialogue; when appropriate feed in your own insights too and expectations. This all forms together to establish the necessary rapport to generate feedback.
Don’t just hear instruction, but listen to the detail
It’s natural for anyone to be excited on a new job or project, but it’s important not to let the excitement go to your head so much that you don’t listen to the job specification.
Carefully listening to what your team, from your managers to your colleague is critical and in itself may be used as feedback. If your colleagues feel confident you are listening to their advice, then they will be more willing to take interest and provide feedback.
In the position of newbie, prove that you are paying attention at all times. Use body language to show, by nodding your head, maintaining eye contact and engaging can all make a difference. It demonstrates to the other person that you value what they say and are keen to listen, laying the foundation for constructive and honest feedback.
At the same time as it’s important to listen, make sure you make yourself heard as well, to offer advice and even praise if you think you’re working well together.
If the company social media policy allows, write about your positive experiences on your social media channels to share the feedback and encourage positive engagement. It all comes together to create a culture of mutual honesty and sharing in the workplace, so there’s far less awkwardness around asking about your performance.
Remember, once you have received the feedback, make sure you act on it. Keep the conversation going and discuss ways to learn more and improve. And don’t forget to demonstrate that you are taking what you have been told on board, especially in the spirit in which it was received.
When you’re new to a role or team, don’t be afraid to ask for honest feedback. If nothing else, it shows your colleagues you are eager to succeed and they will be more willing to support you along the way. They may even learn things from you too which will make the team benefit as a whole and ensure you all can develop your careers.