As a professional, gaining feedback from your supervisors and colleagues is extremely important. Regardless of your career path or level in the organization, learning your observed strengths and weaknesses is essential to improving, building your personal brand and moving your career forward.
For young professionals who are just starting out, feedback discussions and mentoring is even more important. When you’re just starting out, you’re aren’t as self-aware as more seasoned professionals. That being said, it can be difficult at times to hear some of the more constructive feedback. I’m no expert but here are my tips on handling and getting the most out of your feedback conversations.
1. Go in with an open mind: Every time your supervisor wants to talk to you doesn’t mean you are in trouble. Be grateful he or she is taking the time out of their day(s) to give you some comments about your performance. Not every manager is willing to do that.
2. Be receptive and responsive: Don’t go mute during the conversation. Share your thoughts respectively and ask for specific instances when they observe whatever type of behavior you’re discussing. Try their approaches and solutions before claiming they won’t work. Taking notes also helps so that you have something to reference in the future.
3. Raise your hand: If you aren’t getting feedback from your supervisors, don’t be afraid to ask for it. You also shouldn’t receive it once in a while. You and your manager should have a consistent schedule for these types of conversations. This also allows for proactive coaching so that you (and your supervisor) aren’t just reacting to things that already happened. Instead, you both are planning for situations you might encounter in the future.
The only way to turn your weaknesses into strengths is by understanding your areas of improvement. Coaches, mentors and supervisors are great resources to help you identify these areas. It is your career, you need to own it and only you can improve your performance.
Do you have regular feedback conversations with your manager or mentor? How have you learned to handle constructive criticism?
Happy Monday! I’m glad to be back blogging after an amazing week in California. As always, I return from this business trip renewed and with more ideas and goals to accomplish.
As I’m sure you’ve come to learn, I am a people person. I gain my energy by being near people, having thought-provoking conversations and learning from others. So, OneRepublic’s song “Feel Again” completely resonates with me, especially after this week and weekend.
I headed out to California last weekend tired and lacking motivation of any sort. It felt like nine million things were going on in my life and that I just couldn’t keep up. I felt a little numb, like I was just going through the motions. That coupled with a wealth of uncertainty, a feeling I do not like or handle very well, made for an interesting few weeks personally and professionally.
Then I got onsite and spend 12-hour days with my team, a group of people from all over the country who join up live in living color a couple of times a year for a common purpose. Their passion and energy was contagious, their advise genuine and overall presence comforting. I could feel again.
Upon my arrival home, I headed to the suburbs of Pennsylvania for my friend’s bridal shower. I spent both Friday night and all day Saturday with my favorite girls from Temple. It was so great to catch up, share in their laughter and make new memories. I could feel again.
Sometimes it takes your people, your own personal army of rejuvenating forces, to bring you back to reality. Of course at times you’ll have to be your own motivation. But lucky for me, my people helped me to feel again. My sense of purpose both at work and personally is clear and I’m more determined than ever.
Have you ever felt numb and needed help getting unstuck? Share how you feel again!
I think I’ve mentioned this quote before on the blog. I believe in what it means and lived it out firsthand last week.
Self-confidence is has always been hard for me. I’d like to believe I’ve become better over the years, but I know there’s still room for improvement. Additionally, I can keep myself motivated usually because I know someone else I respect is relying on me. When all of this is taken into account, it’s easy to see how working virtually can be a struggle for me sometimes.
I was lucky enough to be with my entire team last week and reaped the benefits in more ways than one. Everyone had such a positive attitude that was contagious. You couldn’t help but feel happy and excited about the work you were doing. Each of us demands excellence and holds one another accountable. When excellence is a requirement, everyone strives to be better, reach higher and push themselves further.
More than anything, I completely felt part of a team, of a family last week. I’m finally comfortable and have earned my wings so to speak. We are like a family: we have each other’s backs, talk one another down and genuinely care about each other’s well being. This new family also continuously challenges me and pushes me far outside of my comfort zone, helping me to grow both personally and professionally.
The people you surround yourself with both at home and at work absolutely impact your attitude, behavior and decisions. Take advantage of this and use their positivity and ambition to thrust yourself forward. Remember to thank them occasionally too…a big thank you to the team I was with last week!
Last night, I traveled to Brooklyn to see Jay-Z’s sold-out concert at the new Barclay’s Center. Never in a million years did I think I’d get tickets to this concert. I expected to be amazed but I wasn’t prepared for a life-changing experience.
Whether you like him or not, Jay-Z demands some respect. He is a lyrical genius, brilliant entrepreneur and came from nothing. He was amazing last night and spoke to the crowd like we were his friends, maybe even his family.
Before closing with ‘Forever Young,’ he told the crowd that each of us was special and genius, but that it might take some time to figure out how to use that genius ability. It was like he knew exactly what I needed to hear. It’s a daily struggle for me, retracing each step I took in college, wondering if I could have done something differently that would have gotten me a job. But I was reminded by a man who did struggle and who knew hardship to never give up and to never let anyone stand in your way. He said each of us would change the world one day and I plan to.
After his speech, Jay-Z ended with ‘Forever Young,’ a song that preaches about living life and enjoying every moment. I believe in the song’s message and was reminded to slow down and enjoy life’s moments, whatever they may be. Sometimes, it’s a Jay-Z concert but other times it’s smaller moments like watching the autumn leaves fall or laughing hysterically with your friends in the middle of Target. Yes, we’re adults but everyone needs to remember that having fun and enjoying life is what keeps us forever young.
Thank you Jay-Z for fantastic concert and for inspiring me last night!
The highlight of my summer was watching the Olympics. I’ve loved them and watched every second since I was little. I find the idea of so many different and talented people coming together very inspirational.
Gymnastics has been my favorite Olympic sport from day one. In 1996, I pretended I was an Olympic gymnast and performed my own rountine in my living room. While each gymnast, both the men’s and women’s team were amazing to watch this year, one stood out to me: John Orozco. He is a Bronx, New York native who credits everything he has to his parents. He may not have won the gold but it certainly won me over as an inspiration.
Then there’s his song, The Fighter. Gym Class Heroes and Ryan Tedder created the perfect melody and motivating lyrics to tell Orozco’s story, who stars in the music video below. For me, my concept of a fighter completely changed and become more relatable. Orginally, when I thought of a fighter, I saw a boxer or a fireman. However, Orozco changed that perception and showed me how a kid from the Bronx with a dream was and still is a fighter. He fought for his dreams and told each of us that we can do the same.
I remember first listening to the song with my then supervisor. She looked at me and said the song was written for me. Huh? She then gave me several examples of how I was a fighter. I didn’t realize how hard I’ve fought for my dreams and what I want in life. I only believe I’m a fighter because I’m surrounded by them. My senior year was defined by my friends and myself fighting for what we wanted: a job, a certain scholarship, Latin honors and so much more. We never gave up and kept each other motivated until the very end. Come to think of it, we still do all the time.
If you’re having a bad day, I suggest you put this song on and remember to fight for whatever you want in life. Sometimes you’re fighting for a job or a G.P.A. but it’s important to remember to fight for yourself and the life you dream of. Absolutely surround yourself with a personal team of fighters; they will pick you up time and time again.
I hope everyone enjoys this song as much as I do. Happy Motivation Monday!