How To Request Feedback

You're about to ask for feedback. Whether it's your first time or your 500th time, it can feel vulnerable, risky, and intimidating.

The good news is you're doing it, and that's the way to get better! Plus, there are things you can do beforehand to improve your chances of having a great conversation!

First, choose the right person or people to give you feedback.

Ask yourself– What information am I looking for?

Do I want details about performance outcomes? Or do I want input about how I'm working with others or achieving those outcomes? The more specific you can be about what information you want, the better you can prepare yourself and your feedback partner for a productive conversation.

Remember, you can be strategic about how many people you want to solicit feedback from. Maybe it's that one person you feel you have difficulty communicating with, so you only want to have that one conversation for now. Perhaps you want input from your entire team, or feedback from people who have worked with you in different capacities over the past six months. There are many ways to do this well – select candidates you think can give you the information you're looking for.

Next, give yourself feedback.

One way to gain clarity about what information you really want is to review yourself before getting feedback from others. Through the Open360™ self-assessment, you can select from our existing items and topics or create your own! Completing this step will not only help you but will also help others understand what type of feedback you want.

Now, ask yourself – am I willing to hear what other people share?

Whatever the answer, it's important to understand that it's okay to set boundaries when asking for feedback. You may want specific information and not be interested in hearing any additional feedback at this time. Honor your boundaries and limitations, and know that others may have additional information to share with you when you're ready. The cost of saying no to this additional feedback may be that people have information they feel is important or helpful, and you'll lack this perspective until you're ready. The benefit of saying no is that if you're not ready for new, unexpected information, saying no allows you time to think about it and prepare. You can always go back and ask for that feedback at another time.

Once you've thought through what information you want to receive and completed your self-evaluation, you’re ready to select your feedback partners. Just enter their email address and add a personal note if you’d like before sending. If you want to jump into the deep end, you can choose an Open feedback request where you let your partner choose what feedback they want to share.

Remember – you don't have to get feedback in bulk! This is why Open360™ is designed to be an ongoing process. You can have both quality and quantity by scheduling timely, relevant conversations throughout the year.

The most important thing is to understand what information you need, your comfort level with feedback conversations, your relationships with your feedback partners, your stress level, and tolerance – and make strategic choices about the who, what, and when based on those factors.

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