Why Feedback Will Help Your Professional Development

Woman asks for feedback at work

Feedback, in the world of business, is the breakfast of champions. Feedback "feeds" us. It's at the top of the food pyramid for learning and professional development. How often do you ask for feedback?

Feedback can be humbling, it can be eye-opening, and it can bring awareness to us of things that we're simply "blind" to. But if we don't ask for it, we usually don't receive it—particularly the constructive form. Many or most people will give us positive feedback, but very few will give us honest, candid feedback focused on how we can improve, how we can get better, or things we SHOULD change or do differently.

Make ASKING For Feedback A Habit

Man asks for feedback at work


Seek feedback from others:

  • Following a meeting in which you participated
  • After giving a presentation
  • In follow up to a networking event
  • Anytime you're in front of others

Ask an observer (a colleague, a friend, a peer, a direct report, a mentor, a panel member, or a participant):

  • How did you do overall?
  • Was your message clear?
  • Did you seem to listen well?
  • Was your body language in alignment with your message?
  • Did you seek input from others?
  • Did you show respect for others' time?
  • Did you leave a positive impression?
  • Were you friendly?

Seeking feedback communicates a clear message that you care, that personal excellence is important to you, and that learning and getting better are a priority. Feedback is a highly effective learning tool, but like any other tool, if left in the toolbox, it does you no good. Use it. Solicit feedback often. Make feedback a habit, and you'll successfully develop yourself as a professional.

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.