We all need feedback. By understanding how people experience our style and performance, we can better align our efforts with what is truly needed. But how we solicit feedback can create its own perception that goes beyond our performance.
In most cases, it is best to be direct, courageous and specific. Go in strong after a project or important meeting and ask your boss or co-worker for one or two things you did well, and where there was an opportunity to be more effective. Your boss or co-worker will appreciate your quest for self-mastery and the confidence it took to ask for their opinion.
What you want to avoid is fishing for compliments or asking for validation because you feel insecure about your performance. A statement like, “How do you think I did?” is too vague and often reveals a lack of confidence. You are also more likely to get a placating answer that doesn’t offer you much of a chance for either validation or growth. It’s worth writing again. Be direct, courageous and specific. Good things come to those who ask.