The best thing you can do to improve performance in your work (or sport, hobby, etc) is to create opportunities for deliberate practice AND have a strong feedback loop in place that is timely and actionable.
Most of us do ok in the former but not in the latter. We just don’t get enough feedback on a regular basis. It makes sense when you think about it. It can feel tricky and unpleasant to give critical feedback and hard to ask for, and receive, feedback.
It’s a vicious cycle and it’s so much easier to just not do either, so we don’t, but the best do. The best decision makers and the best athletes get feedback and the best [fill in the blank] get a lot of feedback. Like anything, feedback is a skill you have to practice.
Here are some tips for making (both giving and receiving) feedback a habit from the excellent post How to criticize coworkers:
– Add a weekly calendar reminder to yourself to call out a teammate who’s doing well in your team’s Slack channel! Starting with regular positive feedback is a good way to build up the courage to give the critical kind.
– Write down three specific instances of feedback you’ve received in the last months/year. Put them someplace you’ll see them regularly, to remind you of how to improve.
– Reach out to someone who gave you useful critical feedback and say thanks
– Schedule an hour-long feedback session with a teammate you’ve worked with closely. Ask them to come with specific examples of things you did well and things you didn’t do well. Dive deep with them on the examples, and figure out what you want to do differently in the future.
– Write down critical feedback you’ve wanted to give a teammate. Try to write it down with the template above, and be as specific as you can. You don’t have to send it, but the act of writing it down will help you practice.
I’m planning to include one or more of these in my next month’s amplify and reduce goals.