Have you ever been surprised by what you heard in your annual performance review? If you have, chances are that you’re not getting real-time feedback on a consistent basis. Do you believe it’s your manager’s job to tell you how you’re doing? If you do, then you’re probably not asking for feedback. Getting candid feedback – information about how you and your performance is being perceived – is necessary for you to be able to know what you’re doing well, what you need to work on, and whether you’re on track to achieve your career goals. Not getting feedback deprives you of critical information and handicaps your development. Don’t leave it to chance. Make it a practice to ask for real-time feedback. 

After a major project or presentation ask your manager, or others you trust, for feedback on what you did well and what you could do better in the future. If you’re practicing a new skill – maybe its public speaking, having difficult conversations, or writing effectively – talk to those you’re working with and ask them for feedback. Let people know that you’re working on your career development and value their opinion. If you receive a vague response, make it clear that you’d really like to understand what they’re saying and would appreciate more details and a specific example. If you’re not sure who to go to for feedback, think about who you interact with on a regular basis. Who do you report to? Who do you work with on projects? Who do you oversee? It’s good to receive feedback from all different points of view – from those who are above, lateral, and junior to you. Always listen to learn, and refrain from arguing or defending yourself in the moment. Ask for and accept the gift of feedback so you have the information you need to intentionally build the career you want.

More information on this tip can be found in Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want

For more Career Tips, check out: Welcome Change Blog