Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tea's Business Tips: Part 2

If you're just tuning in, read this first. Here are my top 3 tips and they're ALL about feedback.

3. Ask for feedback - Most companies do yearly feedback, some do not. If your company has a feedback process, you want to ask for unofficial feedback halfway before your official feedback is due. A temperature check, if you will. If you make it to your annual review and you have inadequacies, you're going to miss a raise or promotion because you didn't know what you were doing wrong.

I'll be honest, most people think they're doing phenomenally at work. Some are. Some aren't. Also, because the workplace es un mezcla of cultures, attitudes and backgrounds, something you think is ok, may not be. Or something someone else thinks is ok, may not be. It's CRUCIAL that people have conversations about these things BEFORE the pink slip comes.

It's also important to get feedback from managers AND managees...

2. Managee feedback is important - #fact, While you're making your way to the top, you can't run a company if no one wants to work for you. This doesn't mean you need to be super nice and everyone's buddy, it just means that something about YOU has to be desirable. Your workstyle, your ideas, your management style, your ability to think at an elevated level.

To reiterate, this doesn't mean people have to want to work on clients that you're working on or people want to get close to you to get something from you. What I'm describing is very internal. YOU have to be desirable in some way and getting feedback from your managees will help you find out where you're slacking.

Side note: If your company doesn't have a feedback structure in place, find a neutral third party to filter feedback through: HR, a peer, maybe your supervisor (depending on the company). You don't want to ask someone you manage directly how they feel about you. The answers just won't be honest.

1. Heed feedback - Now, you have all this feedback and you may disagree with some of it, but that doesn't mean it's not accurate. If someone THINKS you're doing a bad job, you are. Because perception is reality. (The PR Diva in me almost just gave a class on changing minds and attitudes, but I pushed her back, LOL!)

SO many people get promoted, hired, bonuses, kudos, accolades, recommendations to a new job or position, etc JUST because people think they're doing well. I'm not advocating BS-ing and making it look good, I'm saying you have to take feedback seriously, you have to NOT take it personal and if you want to stay at that company, you have to attempt to change the negative OR attempt to show people that they're perceptions are off through your actions, not through arguing with HR about what somebody said about you.

You really have to work up your emotional muscles to take criticism.
Before you have a review, call an ex that you're still cool with and ask them what they didn't like about you and don't argue about it first. If you're single call your grandma and ask her why she thinks you're not married yet and don't say anything back. If you have good friends ask them what they hate about you and don't offer a response unless they ask for it. I'm not encouraging you to walk into the Lion's Den for no reason, I'm just saying if you're serious about heeding feedback, but you're sensitive, you have to find a way.

Alright, that's all I have for now, but let me know if you liked this segment and maybe I can do situational posts (Tea's top tips on giving feedback or firing people, lol) or answer your workplace questions... Maybe Ask Tea or something like that... let me know!!!


la said...

Eeeep! I think this is good advice for someone who wants to move through an established culture. But I hated most things about this list. If people don't like something about me, that's their problem! As long as I'm not in danger of being fired, I ain't 'bout to put in extra effort to please someone else. Perception is the observer's reality.

For the most part, I'm content with being a "worker bee." Let me know what I need to do and leave me alone to do it--please! I already know that the final destination for me is self-employment. Everything I do in the interim is just going through the motions.

I think most people don't like me when they meet me, and it's usually because they don't know me. If I had a dollar for every time someone started a sentence with: "I thought you were..." I wouldn't have to work no mo'!

South Loop Social Light said...

I'm glad I found this post. I've been debating whether or not I should go to my boss and try and take on more responsibility. I guess my apprehension comes from wanting to make the effort but being on the fence about actually receiving the extra load. lol... crazy, I know... but with the economy in such an unstable state it makes everyone work themselves to the bone for sub-par pay. Ehhh... I'll figure it out.