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Part of your own learning and development journey includes taking on board feedback from others. The title of this post however does state ‘valid sources’ and by this it means reliable feedback that is constructive, unbiased and aimed at ‘helping’ you progress effectively.

So with this in mind, where do you go to look for that valuable feedback? We all need an external opinion and some clear hard facts. Its great to self-reflect, undertake a SWOT on our self and a Skills Gap analysis but how often are we honest with ourselves about what we are good at and where are weak spots lie?

This is 2 fold. Denial of weaknesses or too critical of ourselves and also the same with strengths.

Gaining feedback from those who want you to do well and will be honest with you is key but be aware that asking a colleague to assess you who you are best buds with probably wont work and its unfair to put strain on someone who may not want to offend OR if honest may find you are disappointed in their review.

Managers and Supervisors

They are ideal and whats more, official appraisals done with them are incredibly valuable. I will note here from experience with students not everyone receives a regular appraisal, if at all and some of them are quite basic so you may need to request a more in depth review to help you here.

Stats and facts.

KPIs, targets and performance expectations are a great way of receiving feedback. Use this information to look at your strengths and weaknesses. Have you achieved or maybe over achieved? Or have there been some targets you simply didn’t meet and why was this?

Customer feedback

In some cases you may get a mention or several on your performance and this is also worth noting particularly looking at industry sector such as hospitality or care.

360 feedback

This is how it reads, it’s a whole all rounder assessment that you hand out to a range of sources to answer a questionnaire all about you. Just be aware these are time consuming and you are reliant on awaiting feedback. The advantage of these however is that they pretty much cover all areas of skills in terms of work behaviour such as decision making, ambition and negotiation skills but in saying that they are not always job specific so may not give a true picture as to someones work performance. Also sources may not always be reliable or in fact trained to use such an instrument and so results could be invalid. Individual bias can affect judgement and there is an argument that handing this survey out to co-workers is too reliant on honesty.

Skills Gap Analysis and SWOT

I have covered these in previous posts but mainly for undertaking on oneself. You can of course ask others to complete either of these for you. Theyre quick and simple to use and easier to compare feedback opinions from different sources including your own. Again be aware that you are relying on someone elses judgement and you may want to ask them to justify their decisions.

Learners undertaking the Level 3 and 4 Diploma in Management will find this assists with the below criteria:

300 ML9 3.2 Obtain feedback on performance from a range of valid sources