As a Millennial, I’m quite familiar with all of the characteristics that make up a “Millennial.” There are hundreds and hundreds of articles that categorize, compartmentalize, and classify Millennials. Although I do not agree with every single thing that’s printed about us, one topic that consistently comes up is the need for feedback, and it really rings true.
Specifically speaking, I’ve had a number of jobs where the level of feedback ranged from zero to 100 — 100 being that everything I did was nitpicked and critiqued.
Although I crave feedback and thrive in environments where feedback is fairly consistent (and constructive, I should add), I’m here to tell you that you can’t always get what you want and to offer some suggestions or techniques that may help the situation.
Here are a few suggestions that I’ve found useful:
Ask for the feedback. The first place to start is to just ask for it. This is my biggest mistake. I’ve been in positions where I wanted feedback and was frustrated for not getting it. The problem wasn’t that my superiors didn’t have any; it was that they didn’t know I was open to it. Consider asking for a bi-monthly 10-minute meeting to discuss progress, answer any questions, and catch up.
Seek feedback elsewhere. It may be difficult to get specific feedback about your position from others outside of the environment, but having a friend, mentor, or even just someone to talk things out can very helpful. Use these people more for sound-boarding to get your thoughts out on the table.
Adapt to the situation. Let’s face the music. Sometimes, you’re going to find yourself in an environment where feedback is not present or useful. In these situations, it’s important to adapt to not regularly getting feedback. Remember, this doesn’t mean that you’re bad or you’ve done something wrong. It just means that it is not a priority.
Put silence into perspective. A good rule of thumb is to not take the lack of feedback personally.
“As a generation, we’ve gotten used to consistent feedback. Silence means nothing more than silence.”
WARNING: There are drawbacks! There are situations where feedback is not useful or helpful, and I’ve recently found this to be the case. I’m an expert at being a Millennial. I’m also here to tell you that although we like feedback, sometimes, it can be damaging. The constant need for praise and words of wisdom can have a negative effect. It can lead to low self-esteem and a sense that you can’t do anything on your own.
Just remember, you’re a strong confident person. You can accomplish anything — even if no one cheers you on!
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Emily is the People and Project Assistant at (DJHP) Dr. Jan Hoistad Partners where she and other team members provide support services to busy professionals in need of a helping hand. She wears many hats in the organization and is passionate about helping busy professionals who are passionate about what they do. Recent projects include writing, editing, researching, creating power points, strategic planning, and scheduling. QuickBooks, project management, email campaigns, creating visuals, contact management, event planning and coordination and much more. Emily is always looking to expand her portfolio with new and exciting projects. She offers creativity, efficiency and peace of mind.
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