“By the Way, Great Work!”

indexWe naturally tune in to compliments, especially when they are sincere and well deserved.  Professionally, we’ll tend to look for those compliments in workplace feedback – informally from peers and formally through performance reviews from bosses.  It’s often a missed opportunity, if not a mistake.

When feedback is positive we happily take it in, relieved to hear good news and carry on secure in the knowledge that we’ve done good work and it’s been appreciated.  And we miss the chance to find out more about our potential.

It’s precisely when we are hearing good things that the timing is right to seek out information on where your room for improvement may be – and to learn what your counterpart is really thinking.

Advice from Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg zeros in on this. She is the current COO of Facebook and former VP of Global Online Sales & Ops at Google.  In 2012 she was named to the Time 100, an annual list of the most influential people in the world according to Time magazine. She’s just earned 24 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List with her first book.

Here’s what she says about getting the most from feedback –

“What more could I have done?” “How can I do better?” “What am I doing that I don’t know?” “What am I not doing that I don’t see?” These questions can lead to many benefits. And believe me, the truth hurts. Even when I have solicited feedback, any judgment can feel harsh. But the upside of painful knowledge is so much greater than the downside of blissful ignorance. Requesting advice can also help build relationships.”

By opening the door to a dialogue when the conversation is positive, you can tap into a broader exchange and open up ideas on areas for professional development.  You can develop mentors and build trust with senior people.  It’s how you can create advisors and learn from the experience and perspective of others. It’s a career development technique worth trying.

You can check out part of Sheryl’s message at the Ted Talks link below


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