It’s not new advice that we should ask for and implement feedback, but it is worth repeating as it’s one recommendation that is often ignored. In business, feedback is encouraged – from junior level staff right up to top level executives – but how regularly do we actively seek and listen to our colleague’s feedback?

Why feedback is vital

As the working world evolves, CPD and upskilling are becoming more and more vital. Skills such as communication and collaboration need to be actively strengthened to succeed. Feedback is an important first step towards figuring out where the gaps lie in your own skill set and how you can actively improve.

Fionnuala Meehan, Site Lead for Google Ireland & Vice President of EMEA Google Marketing Solutions, advises…

“Self-awareness is absolutely key for any leader. You can’t just assume that the way you act or behave doesn’t have an impact on the people around you. It has a huge impact.

It is so important to be aware of both your strengths and the areas you may need to develop. Look for feedback and really listen to that feedback, not only from your team, but also from others around you. With everyone I work with, whether they are a peer or a more senior or junior person, I look for opportunities to get feedback.”

To look for and really listen to feedback, it’s vital to have an open mind. Welcome feedback and remember that it is not a personal attack, instead, think of it as a valuable tool to improve.

Fionnuala states…

“I think that if you have that attitude to feedback, whereby it doesn’t make you defensive and you instead welcome it, that self-awareness is really what will sustain you in your career. You have to really keep “checking in” with yourself as a leader, so you can make sure you’re making a sustained contribution and getting the most out of the teams around you.”

To actively implement feedback, make it public. Inform colleagues you are trying to make a change, no matter how minor or major, and give them permission to pull you up on your efforts if your enthusiasm begins to slip. This way you will be held accountable for your actions and are more likely to implement positive change.

Receiving and giving feedback is often uncomfortable. It disturbs routine and can feel frustrating or embarrassing. At times when you are offered feedback, try and reframe your response, take time to properly think and analyse your colleague’s thoughts then make the necessary changes.

Whether you are a junior exec or a CEO, there is always room to improve and grow, don’t wait for feedback – seek it out and make the necessary changes to be as good as you can be.