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How to Get Feedback > Who to Ask for It

Who to Ask for It

  1. It should be a person whose opinion you respect and who will encourage you to improve your effectiveness, someone with credibility and integrity. When you think of him or her, you should be able to say to yourself, “This is someone I trust to be honest with me, who does not have a hidden agenda, and who treats me with respect.”

    To identify these individuals, look among your peers at work but also look to your friends outside of work, your family members—children included—and anyone with whom you have contact in a charitable, professional, or community organization.

  2. It should be someone who has a different work style and whose feedback will provide opinions and points of view that are new. To ask for this kind of feedback, you will have to move outside your comfort zone.

    To identify these people, look among your peers and direct reports, and particularly look for a person with whom you’ve had a disagreement in the past. Or you can look for someone who has at some point baffled you by the way he or she thinks and acts. Perhaps their way can be more effective than yours in certain circumstances. You need perspectives other than the one to which you have grown accustomed.

  3. It should be someone with whom you must interact in order for you both to be successful. This is a relationship where each of you has a vested interest in making the other person work more effectively.

    To identify these people, look to your boss, your customers, your suppliers, and your direct reports. In fact, look to anyone who is part of a team with you, either inside or outside work. Are you part of an athletic team? Are you part of a planning committee for the PTA or a charity? Look to your spouse or significant other—the two of you are part of a team as well.

  4. It should be someone with whom you have worked long enough to have had opportunities to observe you in a variety of settings. This usually means at least six months.

    To identify these people, think about those peers, direct reports, or bosses with whom you have worked over time. You might find that someone you worked with in the recent past would be more helpful than someone you have just begun to work with.

Overall, you need people who:



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