When your performance evaluation or mid-year update rolls around, you finally let your supervisor know that you would like to be promoted. Then they explain ways for you to win that ticket to the next level of success. But you never really hear their side of the conversation because of a common phenomenon that holds many people back from reaching their career goals and dreams.
What happens is that the mind and emotions interpret certain kinds of feedback as a personal criticism. We put our guard up and our ability to listen – and actually hear what the other person is trying to say – shuts down.
I hear from many corporate human resource professionals who explain that employees want to be promoted, but are not really ready to hear constructive feedback. Without taking that kind of helpful feedback to heart it is impossible to swing into action to change behaviors that are holding you back.
Here are my six tips for processing developmental feedback:
- Don’t become defensive and try to justify your actions/behavior.
- Do listen intently and take great notes on the specific behavioral changes they would like to see.
- Don’t take the feedback personally. Your boss wants to develop your potential because that is a feather in his or her cap, so it’s all for your ultimate benefit.
- Ask for clear, specific examples of the desired behavior your boss wants you to demonstrate.
- Tell them you would appreciate interim feedback when they observe your behavioral transformation happening.
- Explain that you appreciate their honest feedback, take responsibility for your career development, and will embrace these changes ASAP.
Having been the boss sitting across the room giving development feedback I can honestly say that the feedback is not meant to change YOU, but only your behavior. Become more open to hearing feedback from your bosses and you will quickly learn the behavioral keys to your own career advancement.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
Blog, Ezine & Website: www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2011, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS