Career Advice Career Guidance and Counselling

Feed off feedback to improve career

Receiving and analysing feedback is probably the best way for someone to improve performance and strengthen relationships at work. Every day there are numerous comments and ideas to learn from. Failing to listen and adjust amounts to a lost opportunity if we hope to progress in our careers and co-operate closely with others. To develop the right attitude to feedback, it pays to:  

Be aware and receptive

If unsure how you're performing, actively seek advice and ask people you trust to give an informal evaluation.

Listen actively

Never interrupt when receiving advice and, when listening, try to see the other person's point of view. If there's a lot to cover, consider taking notes for review later.

Express gratitude

Let the person providing feedback know that you appreciate their input and find it useful. Perhaps tell them how you intend to move forward and can use their comments to change and improve.

Accept advice

Other people see things you don't. Be ready to act on their advice and don't just come up with reasons why it was difficult for you to meet expectations. That undermines the exercise. Put excuses and emotions aside and review the situations objectively. Remember, too, not to make this a one-off event because sustained improvement becomes easier if you also get regular feedback.

Lancy Chui, managing director of Manpower Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam operations