How to ask for feedback?

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As humans, we are naturally curious and always like to have answers to our questions. However, there is one area of questioning that we are not so keen on and feel anxious about: asking for feedback.

It’s not an easy task, asking for someone’s opinion or assessment of you and your work, but it’s an important part of our professional development. We can’t promise it won’t hurt, but with the preparation and the right questions, asking for feedback can be a smooth process.

As an internship provider with nearly 20 years of experience, we have seen and heard a lot of "what if" moments—what if I had done this differently? What if I had got to know this person better? What if I had just gone up to my supervisor and asked more questions?

So, we are calling all current and future AI interns - it’s officially time to change the "what if" to the "just did." You are in your internship to develop, improve and grow as a professional and individual- and you will not be able to achieve this without receiving feedback.  We’re all trying to get the most opportunities for learning and networking out of our internships, so don’t be hesitant to go up to your supervisor and ask a lot of good questions. You will impress your manager and get some answers at the same time. Moreover, you might never get another chance like this once your internship finishes! So take advantage of your intern status and start asking.  Example of some good questions could be:         

  • What are your expectations of me in my internship role?
  • What can I do to support the team?
  • What can you suggest that I do to improve?
  • What are the steps I can take to prepare for a project?
  • Can you recommend any people from the industry who you may know, so I could talk to them about my career?
  • What subjects / other courses should I consider taking to maximise my learning?
     

 THE BEST MOMENTS TO ASK FOR FEEDBACK:
 

1.     During your weekly / monthly meetings when you are working on your learning plan / progress report that you need to send to your IPS at Australian Internships. This document needs to be signed by your supervisor at the Host Company, so when you are with your supervisor asking for their signature – this is a perfect time to enquire about how they are finding your work, performance, whether there is anything they would like you to focus on specifically.

2.     Before an important meeting, a presentation or an event. Think of this as an extra opportunity to be coached or mentored by your manager.

3.     During your day to day. There is always an opportunity to learn and grow professionally and you should make the most of your internship – the prime goal of your experience is that you learn, improve and mature as a young professional.  One of the best ways people learn is when we receive constructive feedback, so we can be aware of what we should still improve - whether it is our professional abilities, soft skills or professional behaviours at a workplace. There are moments that occur every day when it is appropriate to ask for feedback, or when your supervisor will openly give feedback. This is ongoing feedback and the more often this happens, the more opportunities you have to grow in your career.

 

You want your supervisor to know that you do not take their time and effort lightly. Make a commitment to get back to them later regarding the feedback they provided. When you have created some changes using their feedback, let them know.

For example, a week or a month later, you notice improvements; you can send them a message saying “Thank you for the advice. I changed my approach like you recommended and I can already see great results. Thanks so much for your help.”

Please keep in mind that it is a good idea to keep notes of the feedback you receive, so you can come back to it in the future. Treat the notes like a commitment to yourself- to change and improve.

It is crucial to be polite and thank for your supervisor’s opinions - whether you agree or disagree with the feedback thank the person for sharing their insight with you.

Asking for feedback is beneficial to your personal development. When you actively reach out for advice, you learn faster and smarter. Ask yourself what you want that feedback can help you with, so you can prepare the specific questions that lead to such information. Then you need to seek out the people who might have the knowledge, connections and ability to provide you with the right information.

Good luck and remember there are no silly questions! So get asking!

Published on by Daniele L.