If you feel nervous when it’s time to ask for feedback, it’s okay. It’s evidence of how much you care about something. However, things can get messy if you are hesitant to look inside and actually acknowledge what needs to be changed on your side.
Asking for feedback indeed requires getting out of your comfort zone. But facing feedback with a learning mindset and remaining open to self-reflection will not only make you feel better about yourself, but it will also take you far away in your career. Pay attention to this.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as the adoption of technology increases.
To catch up, professionals continuously need to develop themselves on personal growth topics such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility.
Since life is dynamic and change is constant, getting to know yourself and learning to use feedback positively will support your growth.
Keep reading to discover new ideas to increase your self-awareness, and benefit from constructive feedback.
Developing self-awareness is about developing clarity within oneself. Before looking at any personal development plans or strategies, you first need to get a clue of where you stand, right?
When done through an objective lens, both self-reflection and asking for feedback become useful tools to improve work performance and regulate unhelpful behavior such as anger, reactivity, or stonewalling.
“Okay, so how do I start?” Excellent question! To get a clue of where you actually are, your communication with yourself must be clear, and especially, non-judgmental.
You may benefit from reflecting mindfully by following the coming steps;
Studies show that understanding your various weaknesses and strengths (empathy, creativity, organizational skills, etc.) helps you determine what serves you in your career. You may be, for instance, a good listener and a problem solver but more often than not you have anger outbursts. If you are not aware of this situation, it could mess up your relationships with your colleagues and loved ones.
At this point, it might be interesting for you to know that according to Buhrfeind & Pennebaker’s research, journaling gives us perspective on our thoughts and emotions–helping us to clarify them and respond to them more resiliently and skillfully.
Writing in a journal every day or week can help you gain self-awareness about decisions and help you have healthier inner conversations. So you can begin to see yourself as a human being who is allowed to make mistakes and get back up with confidence and motivation.
If you are journaling about your emotions and performance at work, you may want to start by considering: the way you communicate with colleagues, how you solve problems, if you are feeling creative, how you get self-motivated, what are your technical skills, how you deal with adaptability, the way you manage your time, your relationship with leadership, and so on.
The key here is, to be honest, but not get stuck on negative thoughts. Perfection is not a goal, it’s a very utopian idea. So instead of focusing on the weakness, acknowledge it, try to understand it, and treat yourself with compassion so you can make your way through it.
We know it can feel uncomfortable and even overwhelming, but the more you understand about yourself the better you will take feedback.
Moving through life and work without considering your blind spots can be troublesome in the long term. If you feel nervous and try to avoid asking for feedback at all costs, we get you. But just like that first time riding a bike or asking someone out, you just need to breathe in and trust yourself.
Consider approaching a mentor, colleague, or manager you feel comfortable with, and asking them to give you feedback on a recent project or accomplishment. It can be a fruitful alternative to getting a clear understanding of your skills.
If you don’t think you feel comfortable with any of them, you can talk to a close friend or loved one about it, and practice your speech beforehand. Please remember that even if you do practice with someone else, it doesn’t mean that that meeting will go exactly as you planned it.
Be confident and trust the process.
Here are three questions you can ask your colleagues or managers about your current strengths and weaknesses:
1 – What am I currently doing to demonstrate my skills and what differentiates me from others?
2 – What are examples of growth that you have observed in me since we began working together?
3 – What would have a positive impact on my current performance?
After getting your answers, don’t try to focus on everything at once. Instead, choose one area of development and begin with it. And if instead of feeling motivated to improve, you feel a little vulnerable. It’s okay! Sometimes we get feedback that we didn’t expect, or simply feels too overwhelming. Treat yourself with compassion.
A study from the University of California, Berkeley about self-compassion suggests it increases self-improvement motivation. Find a way to treat yourself during hard times how you would treat a close friend or loved one. Say positive things about yourself every day, mistakes are temporary.
And one final thought: do you think caterpillars are scared of becoming butterflies? Maybe you will have to face things about yourself that you were not aware of, and perhaps you will have to change a couple of things too. But with self-compassion, and by integrating mindfulness routines into your life, you will soon shatter that chrysalis and expand your wings of self-growth.
Did you learn something new about you after reading?