The Value of Feedback

Nowadays we do not usually go around seeking approval, because we can follow our instincts and we know when we have done a good job. But feedback is always a good thing. You should seek feedback from your peers, your rivals, your team, your bosses and your customers. You are not seeking a prize, approval or love, merely feedback. Remember you are all in the same team, from the room attendant to the hotel manager, all aiming towards the same goal, all waving the same flag – or should be.

So, why is it important to seek feedback?

  • to identify our strengths and weaknesses;
  • compare the feedback with our own assessment of any situation – to make sure we are on track and realistic with our own self-appraisal;
  • learn from a situation where you went wrong – or got it right for next time;
  • identify problem areas that need action and over which you have responsibility;
  • see how your team is performing – as additional information to your own assessment.

As you can see, none of those points involves praise or approval. It is a realistic appraisal of a situation or project so you can learn and move on.

How do we ask for feedback?

Asking people in the team is easy i.e. ‘So, guys, how did we do’ – a response from the team should follow. The next stop is your manager or a supervisor i.e. ‘So, Boss, how did I do?’ that also sounds easy to do, does it not? Asking for feedback from your customers? That is also easy i.e. ‘Is there anything we could do to improve the service/product/delivery times etc? How about your colleagues?? Just ask them every now and then ‘So, could you tell me how did I do with my task?’

What is important when enquiring for feedback, do not preface it with things like ‘Can you tell me where I went wrong?’ or ‘I know the task went wrong, but I do not know where the mistake was.’ Never ever, give your own judgement of the situation in advance.

Let them tell you the good and the bad. Just nod at it all and say ‘Thank you’ and move on.