Most of us have engaged in a 360-degree feedback process or will soon in our new public relations careers. Companies put employees through this rigor typically on an annual basis, with the end-goal to learn and then improve the individual or team performance.
When we get feedback – say, through annual job performance at an agency, team evaluation at corporate or just in a sly email from a manager – we usually align with one of two camps:
1. Oppose the evaluation process and get angry we have to participate.
2. Embrace feedback as a way to grow into a higher level at the PR profession and learn more about ourselves.
Many of us relate to the first category. Sometimes the truth hurts. In reality though, feedback is a gift and can be an indispensable tool in helping us become fully aligned – as individuals, professionals, teams and overall organizations, when used properly. There is value in knowing what others think about us and there is equal value in staying open to that feedback.
Here are some suggestions for taking the high road and accepting feedback in a positive way.
- If we’re honest with ourselves, we know when there’s truth. Ignoring feedback hurts no one more than ourselves. Feedback can be an opportunity for further personal growth when taken to heart
- Ongoing feedback is key. Don’t wait until the monumental, once a year job performance to get feedback. Ask bosses, co-workers, PR mentors and team members for feedback after projects. Team dynamics will become more collaborative and open communication will foster honesty on a frequent basis. After all, a top goal in public relations is to provide seamless communication in the work place.
- Take and integrate what you learn into your daily routine. You heard. You listened. You responded. The rewards will prove themselves in your career, business, and life. When we do respond with action we gain credibility. Don’t you love it when you ask something from someone – and they respond? Of course! You will gain respect from the people who gave you this feedback. You will build trust and loyalty. This will grow your group of networks for your PR career. And, you will ultimately improve!
The most self-aware individuals become the highest performers and contributors in the workplace and in life. Being aware is the key to growth, whether this is within yourself as a new PR pro or within your PR team.
About the Author
Kristin Kaufman is founder of Alignment, Inc., formed in 2007 to help individuals, corporations, boards of directors and non-profits find alignment within themselves and their organizations. During her 25 years of corporate experience, she held executive positions at Hewlett-Packard, Vignette Corporation and United Health Group. Her first book – Is this Seat Taken? How Incidental Meetings can Change your Life – is slated to appear in bookstores fall 2011. Connect with her on Twitter via: @kristinkaufman
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