Lizzie Velasquez once said, "sometimes we need someone to turn the flashlight on for us. Other times we need to turn it on for others." For me, this quote encompasses what feedback is all about.
Feedback is defined as “information about reactions to a product or a person's performance of a task, which is used as a basis for improvement.” Nothing really prepares you for the experience of receiving feedback in the workplace. Many times it’s thrust upon us in PDRs or sadly it’s avoided all together. Whether you like feedback or not, I do believe it can play a pivotal role in your future success. Here are some of the reasons I believe this to be the case:
Feedback is a learning opportunity
Feedback is crucial for getting an idea of how your colleagues perceive you in the workplace. It can help you establish where you are right now, versus where you want to be in the future. Whether it is good or bad, feedback should be considered a learning opportunity wherein you have an opportunity to show that you can adapt and develop.
Own feedback and hone it
Unfortunately, not all feedback is good or is something that we agree with. However, putting emotions aside is the way forward, so that actions can be put in place. Devise your own action plan around any of the points that were raised and how you’ll adapt your behaviour in future, in order to address them. Once you have a plan in place, you’ll have something to work towards, which should inspire positive results.
Clarify expectations and goals
A conversation around feedback is the best way to understand what is expected of you in your role. There’s no crystal ball or correct way of behaving or doing tasks. The only chance you'll get is when you're receiving feedback one on one. It’s a key time to talk about your own development, future aspirations and at the very least, is a good time to bond with your manager.
Think of this as a time for self-reflection
Above all else, take some time for your own self-reflection. Pat yourself on the back for the all the things you’re praised for, and action anything that you need to improve. At the end of the day, people do care and do want you to do better. Take solace in the fact that no one is perfect, and go about your day continuing to strive for success!