It’s a goal many of us share. From tips and tricks articles to expert interviews, you can find no shortage of online advice to help you be more productive.
But if you’re looking for the fastest, most straightforward route to boosting your productivity, it may lie closer to home than you think.
If you want to be more productive, you can start by simply asking your colleagues for feedback.
Surprised? We thought you might be. Here’s why this technique is so effective:
When you ask for feedback from people who know you and your work habits, you receive productivity advice that’s tailored specifically to you. That’s the key difference between personal feedback and the other productivity advice that’s out there. It’s literally made for you!
You just need to know how to ask for it. Read on as we share 10 tips to ask for feedback, and how you can use feedback to supercharge your productivity, and get more out of your work life.
1. Ask for feedback often
Many people wait until their quarterly or annual review to get feedback. We’re going to let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to wait.
You can ask for feedback any time of the year.
The more often you ask for feedback, the better actually, as you have more opportunities for growth.
Regularly asking for feedback helps you escape bad productivity habits more quickly. It also deepens your relationship with your colleagues. As a result, you can work together better moving forward, removing relationship-based bottlenecks and ensuring a smoother project timeline.
2. Ask the right people
Who should you ask for feedback?
Ask for feedback from people who meet these two key requirements:
- They have direct experience working with you.
- You can trust them to be honest with you.
Remember, feedback doesn’t always have to be top-down. You can ask your peers for feedback.
If you are a manager, you can ask your team for feedback on your management style.
If you want to improve a particular skill, ask someone who you admire for doing that skill particularly well.
3. Ask at the right time
It’s best not to spring a feedback request on someone.
Either schedule time to meet, and give them a heads up that you’ll be asking for feedback, or request feedback in a written manner. Give the person time so they can provide a more thoughtful response.
Also, be mindful of what’s going on with them and avoid asking for feedback during times of high-stress, like right before a big deadline.
Pro Tip: If you’re using NextivaONE, you can create a calendar invite for your feedback conversation without leaving the app you’re working in. No need to toggle back and forth to another screen!
4. Use the right medium
Feedback can be formal or informal. Consider the preferences of the person you are asking, as well as how much feedback you are looking for. A quick, direct question can be answered via chat or email, but some people may find it easier to expound on their thoughts in person or over video call.
5. Ask specific questions
People can provide more constructive feedback if you ask more specific questions. Instead of an open-ended “What feedback do you have for me?”, you could ask:
- How can I improve my time management skills?
- I would like to be promoted to X position. What skills should I develop to get there?
- I am struggling to meet X goal. What advice can you give me to be more productive?
- In the project we just completed, what did I do well? What could I have done better?
- Sometimes I get distracted when working from home. How do you stay on task?
6. Listen to feedback
As the person provides their feedback, listen to what they are saying. If you don’t quite understand something, ask them to clarify. Jot down key notes to help you remember.
Taking notes shows that you take this seriously and value the person’s time. Plus, it gives you something to look back on — not only as you work towards becoming more productive, but a few months or a year down the line, when you can look back and see how far you’ve come!
Pro Tip: In NextivaONE, you can take notes on calls as well as on individual contacts, which makes it easy to keep your feedback organized. Plus, automatically-generated transcripts are instantly searchable, just in case you forgot part of your conversation.
7. Be receptive to feedback
It’s good to adopt a growth mindset when asking for feedback. Made famous by psychologist Carol Dweck, a growth mindset describes believing that your talents are not “fixed”; rather, you can develop them through sustained effort, a little strategy, and regular feedback from others.
People who have a growth mindset don’t fear feedback as a negative assessment of their self-worth.
Instead, they welcome it as positive information that can help them learn and grow. Approaching feedback with this mindset can help you better receive and act on the feedback your colleagues provide.
8. Be appreciative
Whenever someone takes the time to provide you with feedback, take the time to thank them for doing so. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture.
A simple “thank you” goes a long way towards strengthening your relationships and keeping the door open for more feedback in the future.
9. Implement the feedback
Successfully implementing feedback is all about knowing what works for you.
Are you someone who works better when you have an accountability partner? Tell a coworker or friend about the new changes you are making to reach your goals, and ask them to check in on you to make sure you’re putting the feedback into practice.
Are you working toward better time management? Experiment with different techniques, such as blocking out time on your calendar or following the Pareto principle.
10. Celebrate your progress
Finally, make feedback fun! Give yourself a pat on the back everytime you ask someone for feedback. It can be vulnerable to put yourself out there!
Then, as you set your goals for implementing the feedback, set milestones, too. Each time you reach a milestone, not only will you get to take a moment to celebrate your success, but you’ll feel more motivated to keep going — creating a positive cycle of productivity improvement!
Get more feedback, enjoy more productivity
Asking for feedback is a smart way to improve your productivity. So is using productivity software.
With productivity software like NextivaONE, you can finally enjoy all the tools you need to be productive. Say goodbye to that mess of apps you’ve been using and manage video calls, chats, customer surveys, file sharing, and more — all from one app.
At last, it’s a work hub that works for you, not against you.
Book your demo today to learn more about NextivaONE.