Being compassionately direct when giving or receiving feedback is incredibly helpful for improving the way you work. But important and constructive assessment of your performance on the job can actually start before you sit down for a one-on-one. Research suggests that incorporating regular self-reflection into your workflow can help you improve by allowing you to actively gauge what’s been working for you, and what hasn’t. Before your next meeting with your manager, take a few minutes to you reflect on what you’ve been doing, and look forward to what you hope to achieve in the near future. Then write that down.
The key to a self-review like this is starting small, and being specific: The science behind goal-setting reveals that significant improvement begins with taking on small, actionable habits that help you reach a broader goal. So write down one or two goals you’ve reached since your last conversation or evaluation (even if it took place as recently as last week), and one or two more that you hope to reach in the near term. The more specific your self-review is, the more constructive it will be in reaching your goals. The point of the exercise is to give yourself constructive feedback by looking at your performance from a new angle — one that allows you to assess your past work, and map out how to reach future milestones.
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