Before New Year’s Resolution Time, Reflect On Feedback From Others
Updated: Nov 4, 2020
’Tis the season of endings and beginnings, and there’s no better focus for these next few weeks than reflecting on what you want to do differently in 2016. Here are some ideas for how to make that happen:
1. Find a piece of paper when you’re waiting somewhere by yourself. Write down 2-3 key insights you gained about yourself from people at work. Some, of course, will be positive, but focus on the areas you still have room to improve. For example—”I want to be more organized on all shared projects” or “I want to listen to others more, and ask open-ended questions before jumping in.” If you’re at a loss for any feedback you can remember, go back to earlier notes you made from reviews, 360 assessments, project meetings or other conversations with your team.
2. Gather more feedback if you need it. In order to prompt your feedback-phobic boss or co-workers, suggest to them a few areas you are considering improving and ask them to prioritize which would be better. For example: “I really want to focus on some key improvements for 2016 and I am considering focusing on presentations, doing more customer calls, or being more thorough in training others. Which is the highest priority in your mind?” Be open to the fact that now you made it OK to give feedback, they bring up a completely different area you hadn’t thought about.
3. Think more deeply about areas you’ve already addressed based on feedback earlier in the year. Consider how you can go further and make bigger improvements. For instance, if people have told you that you need to be more organized, you probably took some steps. Your emails are now clearer and you share your preparation for key client meetings 3 days in advance. Consider how to go even further. Plan some new improvements: Create a shared online space for your projects, weigh the benefits of additional check-in meetings, or take more time to document a process for team members. Very often the areas others mention when they give us feedback are generally applicable in multiple areas of our work. If someone says we’ve too brief and quiet with customers, that can also be a shortcoming with colleagues or the executive team.
4. Plan for how you can gather even more feedback next year. Plan for how to give more helpful, frequent feedback next year. Imagine a feedback loop that consists of everyone in your group gathering and then acting on feedback. How can you contribute to this virtuous cycle of everyday improvement.
2016 is going to be great!!