During his three terms as the mayor of New York Ed Koch asked everyone he met, “How’m I doin’?” He didn’t want to wait for an election to find out. How did you do last year? Did you ask?
The more senior your role, the less likely you are to have a formal discussion about how you’re doing. Many companies have moved away from formal evaluations completely. Whether you get formal feedback or not, you may be reluctant to ask your boss for informal feedback because:
- You don’t want to be micromanaged
- No news is good news
- It’s the boss’s job to initiate these conversations
- You might have to make some changes
If it is important to you to know what you’re doing well and how you could improve, and you work for someone who isn’t good at giving feedback, you owe it to your boss and yourself to find an approach that works well for both of you.
Real time feedback is best but not everyone is comfortable with that. Ask your boss what she or he prefers. You might get the best feedback during conversations over coffee. If more structure appeals to you, you could suggest regularly scheduled discussions focused on one or two key areas.
If you don’t ask, then how will you know how you’re doing?