Feedback, Workplace Tools, Soft Skills, Constructive Criticism
WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 14 December 2016
Use Feedback as a Powerful Tool at Work
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Marianna Dowell
Branding Intern

Many people believe that effective listening the #1 way to get the most out of your job or internship. While it is a critical part of the learning process, it will not always yield results by itself. One of the most important ways to receive the maximum amount of knowledge from a job or internship in the fastest amount of time is to simply ask for feedback.

Not many young professionals seek feedback from work. It kind of just falls into their laps at different times in their lives. Asking for feedback, along with effective listening sets you apart from your peers in an internship or job. Not to mention, it acts as an icebreaker for that intimidating supervisor that you have always wanted to talk to. Often, it’s easier for other people to talk about someone else, instead of themselves. This is why asking for feedback is a step that can lead to further mentorship over time. The top three reasons to get feedback at the end of a job/internship are:   

1) Motivation!

Asking for Feedback at the end of your job increases your motivation to better yourself. It can even lead you to create good networking relationships for future jobs! For instance, if you feel like during your internship that you were just going through the motions or feel down in the dumps that your dream internship wasn’t exactly like you had planned in your head, asking for feedback from your boss or supervisor can motivate you to keep on pushing on until you meet your goals. Who knows, if your boss senses your increased enthusiasm, they might feel more invested in your future, which could result in some really great advice or mentorship that can last well beyond the end of an internship. Think Mr. Miyagi and the Karate Kid!   

2) Positive…and Negative?!

Really? Yes, really! Feedback is the one skill where it is okay to do both good and bad. What I mean by this, is that both positive and negative feedback is useful! Without this delicate balance, it would be much more difficult to learn from your experiences, especially at the end of a job or internship. For example, in my last internship, even though I received more positive feedback than negative, the negative feedback impacted me the most. When someone you respect tells you something that isn’t working or is lacking, you’d be surprised how much you will try to fix or learn new skills to make up for it. Feedback, both positive and negative can be used effectively as a powerful tool to build up one’s personal brand.   

3) Last, but not least...Feed Forward!

What I mean by this is that once you get your feedback, you can share it with others! What? Yes, others can learn from your experiences as well. Sharing your feedback with others is a nice way to make sure that you are meeting your own expectations and goals. Also, it’s a great way to gain leadership, networking connections, and communication skills that can go a long way in any field. Being involved can even help you be in the position to give feedback to someone else, which is almost as useful as getting feedback yourself. You could even become a motivation for other individuals by giving constructive feedback when they are struggling with figuring out what they need to change.   

Overall, feedback is extremely useful and critical to growing in whatever field that you choose to learn about. Make sure that when you ask for feedback you relate it to a specific goal that you are working on, not just anything and everything. This gives whomever you are asking a basic understanding of what you’re working towards and allows them to give the most effective feedback. Understand that feedback is easy to get, and all you have to do is ask! It is something you can get for FREE, that can help you make money in the future. 

So keep on learning (learn new skills like social media marketing), and never shy away from some effective feedback! So I urge you, in the next week, to ask one person for constructive feedback on something you want to work on in your professional life.