Lesson #5: Seek, accept and apply constructive feedback

It’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions list, or what my boyfriend Jonathan Farrell taught me to call your goals list for 2014. In simple terms, a resolution is a promise to fix a personal problem. Unlike a goal, a resolution is something you strive to keep rather than achieve. Furthermore, resolutions can be loosely structured and many people do not keep them. These traits undermine their value. If you’re looking to further aspects of your personal or professional life, you should set goals rather than make resolutions.

If you want to further your career, it’s important to set professional goals. Common goals are to get a new job, get a promotion, develop a skill and network effectively. What do you need to do to achieve one or all of these goals?

Lesson #5: Seek, accept and apply constructive feedback.

Leadership and performance expert Tony Schwartz comments on the need to “embrace new information.” His article advises managers on “Giving Feedback That Works.” How your manager communicates feedback can impact how you interpret it. Although the situation may be intimidating, you should keep an open mind because new information may offer insight on how to achieve your goals.

My job is diverse and fast-paced. One day I am recruiting; the next day I’m composing a communication about an office move. Recently, I spoke with my boss about my future at the company and with that came “deconstructive criticism.” I interpret Schwartz, who learned this term from psychologist Robert Kegan, describing “deconstructive criticism” as the act of providing feedback without assuming anything and giving the person an opportunity to respond. My boss feels that sometimes I work through tasks too fast and asked me if I agreed. I did, and responded that I work through tasks fast because I have a lot of different high-priority responsibilities on my plate. Now, together, we can work to improve my time management skills.

In addition to that goal, here are a few other goals I set for next year.

  • Obtain my Master Degree in Public Relations from Iona College.
  • Increase my proficiency in Microsoft Excel.
  • Write more engaging content for this blog.

Read Tony Schwartz’s article in full here: http://theenergyproject.com/blog/giving-feedback-that-works

Did you make your goals list yet? Share your goals in the comments section.

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