A feedback is important. It plays a crucial role in our personal or professional development, but it works only if we get a proper feedback. An improper feedback like, “things look good to me” does not do any good. Therefore, the real challenge is to know how to get a proper feedback from people around us.
In this article, I have tried to provide a workable “feedback seeking system” which you can use to get a proper feedback. You can also modify the system, if you feel something is missing.
Step 1: Define your feedback goal
Why you want a feedback and on what? The answer to this question matters a lot. A generic feedback like, “all is good” or “there is some problem here and there, but the rest is good” will not do any good. Set a target for why you want a feedback. If you have written something then the feedback you can seek could be related to your writing style, coherence, grammatical and punctuation errors, or overall understandability. You can subdivide your work in this way and ask for feedback about the particular thing you want to know.
Step 2: Qualify your feedback source
Do not seek feedback from anyone and everyone. It will do no good. A proper feedback should come from a qualified source. Ask your senior, your client, your boss, your teacher, or anyone who is more qualified than you are on the subject for the feedback. A washerwoman’s feedback on the structure of your SQL database will serve nothing.
Do not ask your family or the closest friend who knows everything about your project for the feedback. Good or bad, it will never give you the feedback that you can use.
Step 3: Ask targeted question
Ask questions relevant to the feedback goal you set in step one. Do not pose generic question, as it will not fetch desired answer. Ask a targeted question and listen patiently for the answer.
Step 4: Promise anonymity
If feedback sought is for something or someone else then assure your source that his or her identity will be kept hidden if he or she wishes to do that. And if the feedback is about you then tell the feedback source that his or her honest opinion will not tarnish your relationship. This is very important.
Do not lose heart if you do not get positive feedback from all quarters. No matter how smart your source is, he or she can still be short-sighted or wrong. Show confidence in your ability.