Have you ever told someone they have toilet paper on their shoe or a piece of food stuck in their teeth? Sometimes. It depends. But wouldn’t you ALWAYS want to know if you were the victim of such unfortunate situations? So why is it that we don’t show the same kindness to others consistently? What are you (we) afraid of?
Job Seekers MUST Get Candid Feedback
In order to fix what is broken, job seekers need this candid feedback. But who will give it to them? Certainly not the interviewer. They see too much at risk legally. Or, it is just too difficult. Let’s not expect the potential employer to give this feedback. It would be nice, but it isn’t going to happen. The work around is to ask people you trust for their support.
- Role play your interview with someone who can evaluate you. Here are questions to practice answering (or these).
- Give people permission to critique or evaluate how you present yourself.
- Ask past colleagues for their evaluation of how you were to work with (the good, bad and ugly, please).
It Doesn’t Stop Once You Get A Job
Most of us crave feedback, especially Gen Y (twenty-somethings). We want to know how we are doing and deep down inside, we do want to know if people think we are screwing up.
First, you don’t have to be a supervisor, manager, or “leader” to provide feedback. Peer feedback is just as valuable, sometimes more.
I read a post that did a great job of addressing this very issue on HBR “Love, Trust, and Candor: Today’s Management Priorities.”
Jordan Cohen sites several corporate leaders who believe in trust and candor and embed it in their core principles of leadership. He says:
The realization that — with a foundation of trust — candid conversations (both positive and negative) can be shared quickly and easily with tremendous results laid the stage for what has become a lifelong practice of sharing quick observations with colleagues and family members.
Assume Positive Intent
I also believe in candor or as I like to call it tough love. So often I see behaviors or actions that are damaging to the individual I am newly acquainted with. While I don’t have the luxury of always being able to establish trust, I feel compelled to provide candid feedback. I can only hope that the positive intent is assumed in the message. I can and will continue to share my observations, opinions and beliefs in order to help someone be the best they can be.
I can only wonder how different our society, workplace, or home life could be if we all took the time and energy to provide and accept feedback based on the assumption of positive intent.
So, would you tell a complete stranger they had toilet paper on their shoe? Have you delivered a difficult message to someone? How was it received?
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.