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.
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 manager or boss
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.
Ask if they have time in their schedules to provide constructive feedback
Explain your timeline - provide a deadline if necessary
Allow yourself time to apply feedback
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
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?"
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.
Remember, constructive feedback is about growth. There's no point in asking for feedback if all you want to hear is "great job."
You're ready to ask for constructive feedback!