Based in Vancouver, Canada, this is a blog by Michael Argast. My areas of interest include travel, economics, technology, the environment, personal development and other eclectic topics.

Give and ask for feedback

Feedback allows us to learn and improve. It doesn't really matter what we're doing, there's feedback available if you know where to look.

Stepping on a scale gives some feedback on your diet and exercise regime.

Tracking your runs helps you understand when and how you run faster, slower.

Sales as a job (one I've been involved in most of my career) provides somewhat immediate feedback in terms of closed business. 

But many jobs, many activities don't provide very good direct feedback unless you're looking really hard for it. It's why most organizations have extensive review processes (other than stack ranking, which sucks for many reasons). There needs to be some mechanism to provide employees and managers feedback or often it will be left undone.

One way to get feedback is to offer it. It's usually uncomfortable for people to offer one another feedback - they're afraid of seeming critical. But feedback offered in a positive, constructive way will often open the floodgates.

Going on a sales call with a colleague? Ask for feedback right at the end of the call. 

Giving a presentation? Privately talk with audience members afterwards about what they liked, didn't like, where there are opportunities for improvement.

Client engagement? Always ask for feedback afterwards. The habit and consistency of it will help you learn and also speak to your professionalism.

Note that not all feedback needs to be taken at face value. This is why gathering lots of data points, consistently, is important. That way you can separate the outliers and consider them appropriately. 

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The future of (good) work is entrepreneurship

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