Whether it’s just another quick set of eyes on a blog post or a deep conversation about your career direction, getting great advice can be really helpful. It can even be life-changing. At first blush, feedback may seem like something you take as it comes to you. But there are some things you can do to proactively get the help and advice you need to improve your work.
1) Distance Yourself From The Work
Taking ownership and responsibility is much different than taking everything to heart and associating your self-worth with your job. This is essential for startup employees in particular to understand. To join a startup, a certain level of passion or at least personal interest is necessary in order to choose a risky, fledgling business over stable corporate life. But to incorporate people’s feedback into the projects you do at that startup, you need to balance your heart with your head and take an objective approach. A mental distance between you and the work impacts how you ask for feedback and how you receive feedback.
2) Don’t Take Things Personally
It isn’t your eBook – it is the eBook. It is a path for the company to acquire new customers and educate the ones they’ve already got. It’s one of many tools at the company’s disposal to fulfill the long-term vision for the organization.
Feedback about work isn’t personal. When you believe deep down that a project isn’t about you, you approach these conversations with a natural ease and sense of confidence. You will be much easier to work with, you’ll come off as much more coachable and people will want to help you. You will explain your decisions without being defensive because to you it will be through the perspective of “this is why I pushed that button” and not “this is why I am who I am.” People won’t walk on egg shells around you if they know they won’t offend you. This is how you can get more raw advice on how to make your projects better.
3) Ask For Feedback
If you don’t seek out feedback about your work, the feedback you get is reactionary, and it’s usually negative. Reacting to little suggestions or nitpicks isn’t a fun and you don’t learn anything that way. Additionally, it opens up the project to everyone’s opinions, rather than the project getting a vote of confidence from someone who reviewed it early on. It’s not enough to just react positively to constructive criticism. You have to advocate for yourself and seek it out.
4) Be Clear On What Kind of Feedback You Are Looking For
If you’re in the 11th hour and you’re just looking for a quick review, say so. If you’re in the planning stages and in need of broad-sweeping strategic guidance (which could change the direction of the entire project), put that out there. It’s frustrating for one side to perceive something as 95% done, then get told to change the entire thing and only have 24 hours to do it. It’s also annoying for someone to invest time in deep, strategic thought about your work only to realize that it would have been better to provide a quick review for small edits because that’s all you have time to incorporate.
Read the rest of the post here.