I am a firm believer in feedback. It’s something that was instilled in me as an important skill, both to receive gracefully and to offer honestly. Given my recent work and life transitions obtaining feedback has become a much more proactive process.
While feedback might not always be easy to hear it presents us with an opportunity to improve and change. Creating our own personalized feedback loop can be incredibly valuable, keep us on track, and focused on achieving all we aspire for.
observe what’s going on around you
Where does feedback come from? It comes from our friends, family, co-workers, managers, professional peers, or even the barista at your favorite cafe. Feedback cues are all around us we just have to listen. Each encounter offers insight into how we behave, work, and interact with others. Are there improvements that could be made to these interactions that would have better results or simply a more positive feeling.
ask for feedback from a range of people
Are you looking to improve a specific area of your work or life? Perhaps you’re interested in taking personal stock of your strengths and reveal areas of improve. Human beings are dynamic and therefore we need feedback that’s multi dimensional. Feedback should come from a group of people that are representative of our own dynamic nature.
how to request feedback
Once you have made the decision to develop a feedback loop it’s important that you identify reviewers, reach out to them, and review the feedback received in a mindful manner. Here are a few suggestions:
Identify your goal. Before you reach out to potential reviewers, take the time to determine what you want to achieve through your feedback. Identify your goals and reasons for seeking feedback.
Develop a list of reviewers. Select ten people who you interact and work with in a variety of ways. As mentioned, this will help you to obtain a more dynamic range of information and account for declines.
Contact individually. While you might keep the email or call content similar this is not an appropriate time to send a mass email. Personalized attention and requests are invaluable when asking for people’s time.
Say thank you. It’s important to be gracious. People are giving you their personal insights as well as their time. Remember to say thank you. Hand written thank you notes and a cup of coffee are a nice option.
Review together. I recommend reviewing feedback in one sitting once you’ve received it all. This will enable you to get a fuller picture, observe overlapping themes, and better identify strengths and opportunities.
acting upon feedback presents opportunity
Feedback is only the first step, the next step is integrating that feedback into your work, life, routine, aspirations, and practices. How can you use the feedback to improve your skills, ideas, or actions? What adjustments will you make?
Then there is the loop. Once you’ve received feedback and made the appropriate changes and/or additions you must close out the loop to determine if such changes were successful, value-added, or not quite on point. Select a few folks to check back in with. We are undergoing a constant revision and this loop better enables us to do so effectively as well as points out potential that isn’t always obvious to us.
What tips do you have for creating a personal feedback loop? What is important to be aware of when observing feedback and providing it to others?