Does the fear of having someone critique you make you nervous, uncomfortable, or even defensive?

Fear of criticism is common. However, there are some simple ways to help ask for constructive feedback.

Yoda from Star Wars saying,

Choose Wisely

Determine who should provide you with feedback.

Choose someone who knows you well and that you feel comfortable with.

Ask someone such as:

  • A trusted friend

  • A colleague

  • A manager or boss

Don't just take, give. Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

Let them know you'd be willing to provide constructive feedback for them, too! Being open to an exchange of constructive criticism can build relationships.

Consider Your Timing

Make sure to be upfront about what you need and when.

  1. Ask if they have time in their schedules to provide constructive feedback

  2. Explain your timeline - provide a deadline if necessary

  3. Allow yourself time to apply feedback

Time Clock GIF by MOODMAN


Which of these is not an appropriate timeline for feedback?

Formal Vs. Informal

Believe it or not, asking for feedback doesn't always have to be formal.

Decide what works best for you and your situation!

If you're looking for a more formal approach:

  • Schedule a meeting - decide if you'd like it to be in person or virtual

  • Plan to meet in a private place

If you're looking for an informal approach:

  • Meet over lunch or another common time

  • Ask for feedback via email or phone call

  • Allow flexibility to meet outside of the workplace

Young man casually saying

Ask Specific Questions

Simply asking, "Do you have any feedback for me?" is too vague. Avoid questions that can result in a simple yes/no answer. If you have specific areas you'd like to work on, make it known.

Ask questions that begin with "How" or "What" such as:

  • "How could I have improved..."?

  • "What kind of things can I do to...?"

  • "What should I consider next time?"

Robert Downey Jr. taking off sunglasses and saying

Ask For Balanced Feedback

Focus on MORE than just the negatives. Make sure to ask your peer to consider leaving feedback on things that went well and things that need improvement.

Karate kid catching his balance - balance is key.

Remember, constructive feedback is about growth. There's no point in asking for feedback if all you want to hear is "great job."

Take Action

You're ready to ask for constructive feedback!

Three women discussing feedback at a dinner table


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