If you work in the People Ops field, you are most likely familiar with the term "Growth Mindset," an idea researched by psychologist Carol Dweck from Stanford. It’s an important framework for professional development and personal growth. According to her research, people with a fixed mindset view skills as constant personal traits, while people with a growth mindset view skills as something that can be improved.
The good news is that we are not naturally divided into either fixed or growth mindsets. With the right triggers, anyone can develop a growth mindset.
Such a worldwide trigger for change was Covid-19. Globally, millions were forced to work from home. People overcame that obstacle and started over rather than to give up. They learned to do something they hadn't done before and they developed an open mind.
A crucial mechanism to keep an open mind is asking for feedback.
This is Part 6 of our Remote Work & COVID-19 Response Series. Last week we discussed the scheduled Performance Review, but you don’t have to wait for a mid-year review to get feedback. Give your people the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat of their own career by asking for feedback regularly.
We zoom in on ask-for-feedback for your personal growth.
We will focus on:
- Why ask for more feedback?
- What to ask?
- Ask feedback on behalf of others
- 7 ways to Ask for Feedback - A practical guide
Why ask for more feedback?
Your people don’t have to wait for a mid-year review to get feedback. As part of their growth mindset mentality, they should Ask-for-Feedback more often, because feedback allows them to ‘update’ their performance.
When you actively Ask-for-Feedback, you learn more — faster.
A great way to continuously improve is to find trustees. Trustees explicitly ask each other for help and monitor each other's skill development and professional growth. Coalitions of trustees encourage each other to share useful information and allow each other to give constructive feedback continuously.
Encourage your workforce to seek out trusted peers from whom they could get comfortable getting regular feedback. Make sure they will not only give each other praise but ask them to select peers they would go to for a candid opinion on their latest performance.
What to ask feedback about?
It’s important to remember that many people are just as uncomfortable giving feedback as they are receiving it. People should realize that once they receive the feedback they should be appreciative and acknowledge the effort. It helps to ask specifically about the effort you put in, the progress you made, and the strategies you chose.
Asking more specific questions about their performance will help them glean better information. For example, asking yes or no questions can be useful when you need a straightforward answer, while open-ended questions allow you to extract more detailed information. Targeted questions will also encourage others to give an honest assessment and signal that you really want their opinion – be it positive or something to improve on.
In Impraise people can Ask-for-Feedback about the tangible goals or objectives they’ve set when they need help to overcome the roadblock they just hit. Most likely someone else has experienced the same and can dig up some helpful solutions.
People can also Ask-for-Feedback after completing a specific task so their performance will still be fresh in their minds. For example, if you have difficulties speaking in public, send a message to your intended reviewer right after giving a presentation and ask for feedback on a skill.
Reaching out right after you finish an important project is a friendly way to evaluate your effort and the result.
Ask feedback on behalf of others
Your managers have the option to Ask-for-Feedback about their direct-reports. So when managers are curious about someone’s performance on a specific project, they could ask the stakeholders to provide feedback. All to learn more about the team’s progress and better understand where coaching is needed.
If for example Lori finished and launched an important marketing project, in which she worked with several cross-team stakeholders, Lori’s manager can select those stakeholders and Ask-for-Feedback about her performance - e.g. her way to update the people involved - to learn more about Lori’s quality as a project manager. The manager can even ask Lori to fill out a self-assessment. Ultimately creating a mini-review.
Timing is key. Managers should reach out to others right after a project has finished or a goal has been delivered on to ensure the memory is still fresh.
7 ways to Ask for Feedback - A practical guide
One of the biggest challenges of asking for feedback is deciding the areas to get feedback about. To help remove this barrier, we’ve provided a guide with 7 different categories of template questions we see most commonly used by our customers.
Next in our Series
Next in our Remote Work & COVID-19 Response series, we will circle back to the Pulse Survey, sharing some benefits we've found the past few months as well as questions you can ask to prepare to go back to the office.