The project manager had no view at all of his performance and no development needs were discussed. How do I know? He told me that he had not had the usual performance management review nor sat with anyone to produce a personal development plan. He was unsure about his future…..
I suggested he needs to put himself into the driving seat. How? I sat with him and we worked our way through various options.
Before I did this I spoke about the value of personal feedback. I said, it can sometimes hurt, but it can also be great, one thing is for sure, without it, we are left working in a vacuum and potentially, we are losing valuable learning opportunities for ourselves and our companies.
How can you get more feedback?
- Ask! Yes, ask your sponsor, project team, suppliers….Now, I’m not saying you simply ask; build the process into whatever you are doing. For example you are on a 6 month project, why not have in your project plan a learning session 4 weeks into the schedule and another say 4 weeks later? Set it up with a questionnaire which asks some key questions including some regarding your performance.
- Measure The Learning – the workplace is a great place to learn so include in your client feedback sessions a way to find out what your client feels they have gained and learned so far. What they learn may surprise you and have an impact on the way you deliver similar assignments.
- Get yourself a coach/mentor – coaches see things from a different angle and perspective from you which is why you are employing them! Feedback delivered by a coach is often very powerful and direct. One linked way is to get a buddy partner and let them accompany you to a client.
- Create your own community of practice – at its simplest, it is a group of people who come together to share ideas and learn from one another. The group can be simply two people and of course could be many more. They are great places to learn from others and develop yourself.
- How about a client care survey? – It is pretty common in the retail sector so why not ask your client and include questions about you and your personal performance.
- Develop your own 360 appraisal – People I know who already have such a scheme in place tell me it works really well for them. It may sound daunting to develop your own, but here’s a suggestion to get you started: identify the key skill areas you want to measure and score yourself against and develop a simple rating system such as the one shown below. Yes, the inevitable marketing – we can develop a simple 360 process….
An interesting point; do you feedback to them your results at the end? After all, they have (hopefully) helped you…!Now send this to a range of people; your sponsor, your team members and stakeholders for example. You will need to ensure you position this so it does not come as a surprise. Briefing is essential and your objectives need to be clear and up front.
Of course some people will always avoid giving you honest feedback and may not want to participate, but don’t let that deter you; still strive to obtain it no matter how difficult!
I then suggested the project manager he goes off and obtains some feedback. Once he has received it he can think about a personal development plan and his future.
So why not tell us about your experience of receiving feedback – positive and negative. That way we can all learn!
Picture courtesy of fredigitalphotos.net