Since joining Deloitte I have become aware of the prevalence of giving and receiving feedback and its importance. However, aside from being relevant to the formal appraisal process and promotion prospects why is feedback so pertinent?
First, it allows others to provide you with invaluable information about your performance, how you work with others, and how you can become better at what you do.
Second, whether it is positive or constructive, feedback triggers self-reflection and willingness to learn or change.
In Deloitte, feedback is given through a number of channels, both formal and informal. For example, feedback can be requested through an online performance management system or by email. Alternatively (and arguably more usefully) feedback can be gathered through ongoing informal chats where it is immediate, personal, and facilitates two-way communication.
You can and will get feedback from virtually anyone in the organisation, and even externally from clients. To prevent - or at least minimise - the rush of the year end process, I would recommend actively seeking out feedback over the course of the year, capturing everything whether it be an official feedback form, or a seemingly insignificant email from a client saying “great job – well presented”. This broad range of feedback from different viewpoints and perspectives will help to give you an overall picture of your strengths and weaknesses.
So far, I have been recognised for being proactive and managing my time well in challenging project situations. However, improvement points have also been raised including having a fuller understanding of my overall client project rather than just concentrating on the activities in my work stream. Taking this on board, I now actively go and speak to team members across the project team to ask questions and gain insights.
One of the most useful, and memorable pieces of feedback I received was actually delivered to me by a Partner during my final interview in the recruitment process. While he admitted that he was hesitant to bring it up, he pointed out that I quite often blush. Is this a bad thing? Not at all, but it is something to keep in mind as some may perceive it as a lack of confidence. Working in a client-facing role, you can begin to see its relevance. By highlighting this, I am now conscious of when it is happening and can work to keep what my manager calls ‘tomato mode’ to a minimum!
My top tips for feedback would be:
- Actively seek it out on an ongoing basis.
- Actually listen to and digest the feedback - ask questions or request examples if you don’t understand it.
- Put a plan and timescales in place to tap into strengths or work on development points identified.
- Ask your colleagues for support in implementing any changes identified.
- Finally, when delivering feedback, be honest (but sensitive), concentrate on the facts, and prepare what you want to say.
I hope something here is useful and helpful to you.