Asking a coworker or supervisor for honest feedback can sometimes be harder to navigate than it seems. Even when you decide “Okay, I am going to ask for some hard-hitting truth here,” and directly ask for it, the information you receive can be difficult to digest. When receiving negative feedback on my performance at the TMX Finance® Family of Companies, I know that whoever is giving me feedback wants me to get better and wants me to succeed. Sometimes I have an idea of where I could improve, and those suspicions are confirmed after simply asking for feedback. Other times, I feel as though I need the feedback to keep me focused on my goals. In either case, feedback, negative or positive, breathes life into my work. It allows me to better see the effects of my work from an outside perspective and where I can improve.
No one wants to be told “No, this is bad work and you have failed the task.” That is how negative feedback can be interpreted depending on the person. Negative feedback is more about the details and the missteps taken to miss the set goal or milestone. It is not about telling someone they did bad, but more about where they can improve. Supervisors are oftentimes asked to give feedback to many members of a team consistently throughout a work cycle; all of whom will undoubtedly respond to this feedback in different ways. It is important to remember that the goal of negative feedback is to improve the process for the next time. It is to develop you from someone who makes those same mistakes consistently into someone who has learned from those mistakes and has built on that foundation.
When you work with a partner, in a team setting, or even alone it is great to openly ask for feedback. This gets the conversation started. How you handle and respond to that feedback will either . allow that supervisor or coworker to be more open and candid with you or will make them feel like they should be more guarded about what they say. Feedback is the fertilizer to professional growth and development. Sometimes it stinks, but it will help you grow if you let it.