At work, we’re fast approaching mid-year performance reviews which means that our team is in the process of giving and receiving formalised feedback to one another through a HR tool. It’s my first time doing this kind of thing and so far I’m finding the whole thing quite a bit more difficult than I’d hoped.
Firstly, giving good feedback is not something that’s easy or necessarily intuitive. It’s a skill that I’ve not developed, and so now I need to learn and practice it. Simply being nice about one’s coworkers is fairly straightforward, but giving constructive feedback on what they could do better, as well as providing examples, is a lot more difficult. I’ve only filled out the form for one of my colleagues so far and I feel like my response was pretty lacklustre when it came to the “room for improvement” section, so that’s something I’m going to have to work on.
Getting feedback is also weird. We all get on very well as a team and I think we are all conscious of maintaining the interpersonal dynamics we currently have, which means that firstly everyone errs on the side of positivity and secondly, I’m not really used to my team not being all sunshine and rainbows about me. Having already a couple of my teammates already submit feedback for me, the one that I suspected would be especially glowing was quite difficult for me to even read (look at me, I’m so humble), and the one I thought of everyone on the team might pull the fewest punches did also have me a bit nervous to open, but ultimately offered invaluable ideas on future direction, in addition to welcome praise.
I am actually quite excited to read more of what the rest of my team thinks I could be doing better; it is nice to strip away a little bit of the bullshit from our professional lives. I am much less excited about having to offer any advice or perspective in return, because I think it’s an exercise deserving of a lot of time and attention (both currently in short supply at home and at work) and one that benefits from its benefactor having a certain amount of experience and wisdom, which I don’t really have yet either. I want to do my best to give them worthwhile feedback though, even if any opinions I might have on what the could be doing better might be weakly held.