â€œI would really like to get more feedback from my supervisor about how Iâ€™m doing in my job. How can I get my supervisor to give me more feedback?â€
Supervisors are often very busy with their own workload and deadlines. When it comes to giving their staff feedback, too often supervisors take the approach of â€œno news is good news.â€ In other words, the only time you hear from them about your performance is when something is not going well. You can increase the chances of gettingÂ feedback if you try these suggestions:
Take responsibility for getting the feedback. Take the initiative with your boss to schedule a time for a feedback session. Busy people often appreciate the help in scheduling times for things they feel are important, but have trouble getting around to.
Give your supervisor the opportunity to prepare. When you do schedule a time to get feedback, send a confirmation email and include the specific questions or areas you would like to discuss. Your boss will be able to provide you with better feedback if he/she has time to think about it in advance.
Be clear about what you want. Simply asking your boss, â€œHow am I doingâ€ is not likely to get you detailed, thoughtful feedback. Clearly identify the kind of feedback you are looking for. Some examples of this might be:
â€œMy goal at the end of the year is to be rated better than â€˜meets expectations.â€™ Am I on track for that or are there some things I need to be working on?â€
- â€œWhat do you think my strengths and weaknesses are in this job? Do you feel that I am collecting the patient data appropriately? Is there anything you think I need to be paying attention to that I am not right now?â€
â€œDo you think I have the potential to become a supervisor? What have you observed in my work that makes you think so? What have you observed that might be working against me?
Stay open to what you hear, even if it is not what you expected. A barrier to getting good feedback can develop if you go into the process trying to confirm a perception you have of yourself rather than truly understanding someone elseâ€™s perspective. A sign that you might be doing this would be if you find yourself arguing with the feedback you are hearing. Resist the temptation to convince the other person that their feedback is â€œwrong.â€ Instead, become curious and ask additional questions to determine what has created their perception. This approach is more likely to give you information you can act on and will also make the person more comfortable about giving you feedback in the future.
Take action on the feedback when you get it. Develop a specific plan to act on the feedback you get, send a copy of the plan to your supervisor, and then do it! Getting feedback should be seen as a means to an end, not the end itself. The point is to improve your ability to do your job, and/or to develop skills for a potential future role. People are much more willing to provide good feedback when they see that it is having some impact. Check in with you supervisor periodically to see if they think you are making progress on your action plan and goals. Use that feedback to adjust your plan as needed. Make getting and using feedback an ongoing process rather than a periodic event.
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