Feedback Friend

You know what stinks?  Getting feedback.  You know what stinks more?  Working hard to get feedback.  While we know that feedback is good for our development and performance, it still stings to hear about how we could do better.  So, why make it worse by having to struggle to get valuable criticism?  Instead, let's use the buddy-system!

The buddy-system at work.

It can be burdensome to have to ask for feedback: in fact, asking for and getting feedback takes time, and often we're too busy to seek that information.  On the other hand, if you set up a special relationship with someone who will give you real-time, immediate feedback without prompting, then you are in a position to be improving all the time and with minimal effort.

Today, we're going to lay the groundwork for a relationship that generates constant, specific feedback about our performance.

Feedback Friend

Task: Ask a trusted colleague for honest, real-time feedback.

Info: Communicate to a buddy of your choosing that you want honesty about your performance.  So, pick someone you trust, who is in a position to effectively evaluate you and ask them to tell you when you do something dumb.  It could go like this: "Hey Homunky, I've been a little worried that I'm not performing at my potential.  For example, I feel like I could do this, this, and this better.  But, also, I think you're an awesome, smart dude and I'd love your ideas about how I could be more awesome too.  So, if you ever see me do anything not-smart, can you tell me right away?  I really trust your input and want to be as awesome as you."  The key (in my mind), is to be really casual so you make your friend feel comfortable about giving you criticism.  Then, when the info starts pouring in, don't ruin a good thing by getting all defensive not, just listen and try to incorporate the feedback.

Goal: Set up a long-term source of immediate feedback.

In theory, this type of relationship can be established with anyone.  But, in reality, certain friends and colleagues are better for this than others.   While more feedback is better, if you have one smart, trustworthy friend, then a single source of feedback can do wonders.

I hope you're enjoying the Week of Feedback at The Happy Homunculus.  If so, please show your support by sharing the site with your friends - check out the social widgets at the top of the page.  Thanks!

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