Marketers can improve their game, but only the brave ask for scrutiny

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Leigh Ober
Leigh Ober

It's not enough to think you're good. You have to ask. Have you ever considered how much of a negative impact you can have by not asking for feedback or criticism? Do you assume your work is communicated clearly and concisely without any questions? Let me give you a scenario that is more common than you may realize.

If a client is willing to have lunch with “John,” a colleague thanks John for helping with a project, or the boss gives John kudos for a creative idea, John probably thinks he is a valued professional. Do his colleagues? Maybe. Maybe not. 

If you really want to know how you're valued, do a quick self-evaluation. Ask for specific feedback. Listen with genuine interest. Adapt to what's needed. Repeat.

Request that the people you work closely with, including your most challenging partners, provide candid feedback. Give your critics time to prepare and ask specific questions. How well did I do when I worked on these projects? How could I have done better? 

Listen and learn. Have an open mind and accept that feedback is intended to be constructive. It's not personal; it's business. Don't be defensive. Listen and take notes and ask for examples. 

Adapt. Accept that you may have to change some things. If you're open-minded, chances are you'll hear what people really want from you. Ask your manager for help. Maybe you have a skill that you need to learn to leverage, or maybe you need to develop. Map out a plan with checkpoints so you get input on how you're doing. Consider getting a mentor, a coach or training to help you make these modifications.

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